Delhi High Court recalls order on Nirbhaya case convict's juvenile plea, hearing today

The Supreme Court on Wednesday also rejected the review petition filed by Akshay Singh Thakur, one of the death-row convicts in the case. 

Delhi High Court recalls order on Nirbhaya case convict's juvenile plea, hearing today

New Delhi: Delhi High court on Thursday (December 19) recalled its adjournment order in Nirbhaya convict Pawan Kumar plea, and ordered that the matter would be heard today itself as lawyers of Nirbhaya's parents objected to the development. Now, the court master would call the lawyer so that the matter is heard today itself.

Earlier, the High Court adjourned the plea of Nirbhaya case convict Pawan Kumar Gupta's lawyer AP Singh submitting that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence on December 16, 2012. The advocate sought time to file fresh documents in the matter.

On Wednesday, Pawan Kumar Gupta moved the court claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence in 2012 and should be treated under the Juvenile Justice Act. He said that his ossification test was not done by the Investigation Officer, therefore, he should be given benefit of doubt under the Act. 

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The convict had urged the court to order an ossification test in order to determine his age and settle the question of juvenility.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday also rejected the review petition filed by Akshay Singh Thakur, one of the death-row convicts in the case. The newly-constituted three-member bench, comprising Justice Bhanumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna heard Akshay's plea.

Delhi's Patiala House Court had also deferred the hearing on the hanging of Nirbhaya rape and murder convicts till January 7, 2020. The court, however, directed the Tihar Jail authorities to issue a notice to the convicts giving them one week to clarify the status of their mercy petitions. The case will next be heard on January 7.

Besides Pawan, three other convicts, Mukesh, Akshay, and Vinay are facing the gallows for rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. The girl, who was later named Nirbhaya, died of injuries a few days later.

Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi broke down in Patiala House Court after hearing the order and asked the court "how long should we wait. Wherever we go, we are told they (convicts) have so many rights, but where are our rights? Sympathising with her, the judge said, "I have all sympathies with you, but they have some rights that we have to give them."