Was Delhi gang-rape convict a minor in 2012? Supreme Court order soon
The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its judgement on a petition filed by Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the convicts in the Delhi gangrape case where he had contended that he was a minor at the time of the crime in 2012.
The court will pronounce its order soon.
At the hearing on Gupta’s special leave petition against the Delhi High Court judgement, his lawyer AP Singh accused the police of concealing the records about Pawan’s age. “Pawan’s date of birth is October 8, 1996. These records were concealed by the Delhi Police, it is a big conspiracy,” said the lawyer. He insisted there is new material and produced the school certificates to establish Gupta’s age.
The bench, however, pointed out that the certificates are dated 2017, which was after Gupta’s conviction in the case.
“The issue regarding Pawan’s age was raised before Supreme Court in the review petition and dismissed. Can you keep raising new plea on the ground that new facts have come to light?” said Justice Ashok Bhushan.
Countering AP Singh’s argument, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the Delhi High Court had considered the plea that Pawan Gupta’s date of birth was October 8, 1996. “It even recorded that plea and rejected it,” he said.
The Delhi High Court had on December 19 last year dismissed Gupta’s claim that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence in December 2012 and had deprecated the conduct of his lawyer AP Singh for filing forged documents and not appearing in the court.
The high court had said that the lawyer filed a forged affidavit in the court regarding Pawan’s age without applying his mind to deliberately delay the process. He also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the lawyer.
Asha Devi, the mother of the 23-year-old victim, said on Monday that the petition by the convict is a “tactic to delay the execution”. “His petition was cancelled in 2013 by the Supreme Court. Review petition was also dismissed by the court. He’s doing it just to waste time,” she said.
On Friday, a Delhi court had issued fresh death warrants for February 1 against the four convicts - Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) - in the case.
President Ram Nath Kovind had rejected the mercy petition of Mukesh. The other three condemned convicts have not yet availed of the constitutional remedy of filing the mercy petitions.
The apex court had on January 14 dismissed the curative petitions of Vinay and Mukesh against their conviction and capital punishment.
The two other convicts - Akshay and Pawan - have not yet filed curative petitions in the top court.
The paramedic student was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people who later threw her out on the road.
She died on December 29, 2012 at a hospital in Singapore.