The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking directions for immediate execution of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.
"You want us to go around Delhi and execute these people. What kind of prayer you are making?" a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told the petitioner. "You are making the court a joke," it said.
The 23-year-old paramedic student, known as 'Nirbhaya', was raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in South Delhi by six people. She died on December 29 in Singapore.
One of the accused Ram Singh had hanged himself in the jail and another, a juvenile, was convicted of rape and murder. He was given the maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment in a reform facility.
On July 9, the top court dismissed the pleas of three convicts -- Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24) and Vinay Sharma (25) -- seeking review of its 2017 judgement upholding the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case.
The fourth death row convict, Akshay Kumar Singh (33), has not filed a review plea in the top court.
During the hearing on Thursday, advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, the petitioner inthe case, told the bench that though provision of death penalty was there in cases of rape and murder, it was not acting as a deterrent due to delays in execution of such convicts.
"Is death penalty acting as a deterrent? Please do not file cases like this otherwise we will ask the registry not to accept it," the bench said.
The public interest litigation (PIL) had said that despite a lapse of more than four and a half months from the date of dismissal of the review petitions of three convicts in Nirbhaya case, the death penalty has not yet been executed.
The plea had said that in rape and murder cases, the fate of the accused must be decided in a period of eight months from the lower court to the top court.