11:58 GMT29 October 2020
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The Supreme Court of India will hear the curative appeal of Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of four death row convicts in an infamous gang rape and murder case from 2012 who now insists on a milder punishment, claiming being a juvenile at the time of the crime, Indian media reported.

    According to the NDTV broadcaster, Gupta, 25, has filed a mercy petition with the Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi High Court's verdict which had dismissed his claim of being juvenile at the time of the crime last December. The curative petition will be his final chance to avoid execution by proving that tests to determine his age within the court trial were erroneous. Two of his accomplices — 32-year-old Mukesh Kumar Singh and 26-yar-old Vinay Sharma — have already exhausted this option.

    The female victim, nicknamed "Nirbhaya", or "fearless", in India as the country's law protects identities of rape victims, was gang-raped and beaten by six attackers in a bus on her way back home from a movie theatre with a male friend in mid-December of 2012. She died from injuries in a hospital shortly after, triggering a powerful outrage across the nation.

    In 2013, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh Kumar Singh, Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma were sentenced to death by hanging. One more of the rapists was 14 at the time of the crime and was set free after serving only three years in prison, while another one was found hanged in his prison cell in spring of 2013.

    The execution was postponed several times, most recently to process Mukesh Kumar's mercy petition that ended up rejected. On Thursday, the Supreme Court scheduled the execution to be held in February.

    petition, appeal, execution, rape, India
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