- Pawan Gupta had filed a curative petition against his hanging last week
- He urged court that his death sentence be changed to life imprisonment
- He can now file a mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind
The Supreme Court today dismissed a curative petition by Pawan Gupta, one of the four convicts in the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi dubbed "Nirbhaya" by the media, a day before their scheduled date of hanging. He has filed a mercy plea before President Ram Nath Kovind.
Pawan Gupta, 25, was the only convict in the case who had not exhausted his legal options of a curative petition. In his plea filed last week, he had urged the court that his death sentence be changed to life imprisonment.
No case is made out for re-examining the conviction and the punishment of the convict, said a five-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana.
Hours after Pawan Gupta's curative petition was dismissed by the top court, he filed a mercy petition before the President. The mercy petitions of the three other convicts - Mukesh Kumar Singh, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar - have already been dismissed by the President.
The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed the pleas filed by Mukesh Kumar Singh and Vinay Kumar Sharma that challenged the rejection of their mercy petitions. Akshay Kumar has not yet challenged the rejection of his mercy petition.
The four convicts, along with two others - one of them a minor - had gang-raped the young woman and tortured her with an iron rod on the night of December 16, 2012. She died on December 29 at a hospital in Singapore.
One of the attackers, just short of 18 when the crime was committed, was released after spending three years at a reform home. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging in jail.
The brutality of the attack had outraged the nation bringing thousands on the streets in protest, which led to key changes in the law and security system.