After the Patiala House Court on 7 January upheld the death sentence to all the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case, one of the convicts, Vinay Kumar Sharma today, filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court claiming he was just 19-years-old while the crime was committed by him. In his petition, Vinay stated that “his family will be destroyed” if he is executed.
Vinay Sharma, along with the other three convicts Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur, and Mukesh Singh, was scheduled to be hanged on 22 January. A curative petition is the last legal remedy available to the convict and is considered to be in-chamber.
The counsel AP Singh, appearing for Vinay in his petition argued that in this case, the courts were prompted by nation-wide public and media outcry against the four accused, which compelled death sentence upon them. He further stated that the apex court has failed to note that the young age and socio-economic background should have worked as mitigating factors to the convicts.
“The petitioner’s socio-economic circumstances, the number of family dependants including ailing parents, good conduct in jail and probability of reformation have not been adequately considered, leading to a gross miscarriage of justice,” read the plea filed by Vinay’s advocate.
The counsel further contended that the subsequent judicial pronouncements have changed the law on death sentences in India since capital punishment has been increasingly getting commuted to life imprisonment. He observed that in 2017’s judgment of the apex court, as many as 17 cases involving rape and murder in which various three-judge benches of the top court had commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.
On the other side, preparations are being made to execute the death sentence of the convicts by the Tihar jail authorities.