A 6-judge bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Arun Mishra, R F Nariman, R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna, on Thursday, dismissed the curative petition filed by death row convict Pawan Kumar Gupta challenging the dismissal of his claim of juvenility at the time of offence. This comes a day before the scheduled hangings of the Nirbhaya rape convicts. All the convicts have now exhausted their legal remedies and constitutional remedies with the filing of their mercy petitions, which have been rejected by the president.
"The application for oral hearing is rejected. We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out... Hence, the curative petition is dismissed," the SC stated.
A trial court had issued fresh black warrants for the execution of all the four convicts, on 5th March, which is to be held in Tihar jail at 5:30 am on March 20th.
In the petition, Pawan claims that w.r.t. his school records, which showed his date of birth as October 8, 1996, he was a juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012 and that the lower courts had ignored this fact. He also argued that since he was a minor at the time of the crime, his death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment.
Prior to this, on January 20th, Pawan had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on the same matter which was dismissed by a 3-judge bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna. Pawan had first filed a review petition in the Supreme Court in December of 2017 along with co-convict Vinay Sharma which was dismissed in July of 2018.