Mukesh, another death row convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case has filed a Curative petition in the Supreme Court to commute his death penalty to life imprisonment.
The petition filed by Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Mukesh stated that subsequent to the impugned judgment, there has been a sea change in the jurisprudence of death sentencing in India. The petition referred to the judgment of Navneet Kaur vs. State (2014) where the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence in curative proceedings implying to the subsequent change in the law.
Citing the doctrine of ‘residual doubt,’ the petition claimed that “The Petitioner has a sufficient cause for there being a residual doubt regarding his role in the offense. Only the DNA of the other accused Ram Singh (who reportedly committed suicide in jail) was recovered from the private parts of the deceased (Nirbhaya). Further, the disclosure statement of the main accused ‘Ram Singh’ states that while all the accused participated in the crime, it was Ram Singh’s acts alone that caused the grievous injuries to the victim.”
The petition further stated that imposing the death sentence on the petitioner would be a grave violation of Article 14 as well as Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
Earlier on 9 January, the other convict Vinay Sharma filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court claiming that he was only 19-years-old while he committed the crime and stated that his family will be destroyed if he is executed.