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New Delhi, January 31, 2020
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a review petition filed by one of the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case.
A three-judge bench of the apex court consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Banumathi and A. S. Bopanna dismissed the plea filed by convict Pawan Gupta following an in-chamber hearing.
The court observed that the issue on the juvenility of Gupta has already been decided by courts, and queried his counsel, "How many times will we hear the same things? You have raised it already many times."
Gupta had moved the top court challenging the Delhi High Court order declining to entertain his plea that he was a juvenile when the offence was committed.
A Juvenile Board in January 2013 had declared that Gupta was not a juvenile when he committed the offence. Gupta's counsel argued the prosecution deliberately concealed that he was a juvenile. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the prosecution has consistently maintained that the convict was not a juvenile when the offence was committed.
"Birth certificate of Pawan Kumar has been filed on record. The parents have confirmed the age of their wards and never disputed the age at the time of the commission of the offence," said Mehta.
The 23-year-old woman was brutally gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, which later led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.
Four of the convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013, and the verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petition in July 2018.