2012 Delhi gang rape verdict: Convicts to move review petition, after SC upholds death sentence
Within hours of the Supreme Court confirming the death penalty to all four convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case, a lawyer representing two of the convicts said he will move a review petition before the top court.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the appeals of the four convicts — Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma — and confirmed the death sentences that were handed to them by the Delhi High Court.
The convicts now are left with the option of first filing a review petition, then a curative petition and lastly seeking pardon from the President of India.
Here is a look at the various mercy options remaining before the convicts.
A review petition can be moved before the Supreme Court within 30 days of the date of judgment. It is heard by the same judges who had pronounced the first verdict and the hearing happens inside the judges’ chamber and not in an open court.
The judges can allow the hearing to happen in an open court, permitting oral arguments from counsel representing the convicts, only if they find something substantial in the review petition. However, it is rare that a review petition succeeds in the Supreme Court.
If the review petiton fails, the convicts can then move a curative petition before the top court. It is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in a court of law.
A curative petition again is generally not heard in an open court and is circulated to a bench of three of the seniormost judges and the judges who passed the judgment under challenge, if the latter were still available.
A curative petition can only be filed if a senior advocate certifies that it meets the requirements of the case. But chances of success of a curative petition is also very low.
The convicts can also take the route of seeking pardon from the President of India as a last ditch attempt to save themselves.
As per Article 72 of the Constitution, the President of India has the power ‘to grant pardons, etc, and to suspend, remit or commute sentences in certain cases.’