Supreme Court to hear Delhi gang rape convict Akshay Thakur’s plea seeking to commute death sentence
The Supreme Court will on Thursday hear the curative petition of Akshay Thakur, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case. Thakur (31) is seeking commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.
A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice NV Ramana will hear the petition at 1 pm, according to news agency ANI.
The curative petition, filed by advocate AP Singh on behalf of Akshay, states that the present curative petition should be allowed by the apex court and it should set aside the May 5, 2017 order, which upheld the death sentence of the convicts.
Akshay in his plea said, “The hollow claim that the death penalty creates a special kind of deterrence which is not caused by life imprisonment and that life imprisonment amounts to ‘forgiving’ the criminal is backed by nothing more than a barely masked need to justify vengeance and retribution.”
He also contended that in 17 cases involving rape and murder, the top court has commuted the death sentence.
Akshay also questioned why the alternative of life imprisonment without parole until the end of natural life was foreclosed in his case.
The top court had dismissed Thakur’s review petition in December last year.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by Mukesh Singh against the presidential order rejecting his mercy plea.
A three-judge bench led by Justice R Banumathi ruled that Mukesh Singh’s argument that the government did not produce all relevant records before the President did not hold water.
The four men were convicted and sentenced to death by the trial court in 2013. The conviction and sentence were confirmed by the Delhi high court in 2014 and the Supreme Court in May 2017.
The executions were initially scheduled for January 22, but a Delhi judge set a new date for February 1 after Mukesh filed his mercy petition before the President.