'Why give death penalty when Delhi air is killing us anyway', reads review petition of 2012 gangrape convict in Supreme Court

  • Akshay Kumar Singh, 31, who had not filed the review plea earlier with other three convicts, has now moved the apex court with a peition seeking review of the 2017 judgment granting death penalty

  • The apex court, on 9 July, 2018, had dismissed the review pleas filed by three other convicts in the case

  • The 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gang-raped on the intervening night of 16-17 December, 2012 inside a running bus in South Delhi

One of the four convicts, Akshay Kumar Singh, moved the Supreme Court Tuesday seeking review of its 2017 judgement handing down death penalty to all of them in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case.

 Why give death penalty when Delhi air is killing us anyway, reads review petition of 2012 gangrape convict in Supreme Court

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

The apex court, on 9 July, 2018, had dismissed the review pleas filed by three other convicts in the case. Akshay, 31, who had not filed the review plea earlier with other three convicts, has now moved the apex court with the petition, his lawyer AP Singh said.

However, the wordings of the plea were widely circulated on social media. In an audaciously-worded petition, the convict brazenly states that there is no need for a death penalty since Delhi air and water situation will kill them anyway.

"... it is important to pertain here that Air Quality of Delhi NCR and metro city is burst and like a gas chamber... the water of Delhi NCR and metro city is also full of poison... Everyone is aware of what is happening in Delhi NCR in regard water and air," the petition says before asking, "Life is short to short, then why death penalty? [sic]"

This bizzare argument is prefaced by another peculiar paragraph in the petition. In that paragraph, the petition cities ancient Indian texts such as the Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads to say that during 'Satyug' (the first of the four ages mentioned in Hindu mythology), people used to live for "thousand years".

The petition, as it questions the practice of awarding death penalty, then says that we are now in Kalyug (the last age in Hindu mythology) where the average lifespan has reduced to 50-60 years.

The 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gang raped on the intervening night of 16-17 December, 2012 inside a running bus in South Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She succumbed to injuries on 29 December, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

The top court had earlier dismissed the review pleas by Mukesh (30), Pawan Gupta (23) and Vinay Sharma (24), saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict.

The apex court in its 2017 verdict had upheld the capital punishment awarded to them by the Delhi High Court and the trial court in the case of gangrape and murder of the woman in Delhi. One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Delhi's Tihar Jail. A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 11, 2019 14:58:33 IST