The Supreme Court of India has dismissed Akshay Kumar's petition for a review of his case on Wednesday. Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan heard the plea filed by Akshay. The court said: “Considering the submissions, we have said that the petitioner has sought to assail the facts yet again which can't be done at this stage.”
“Grounds raised are identical to the ones raised in the review Petitions filed in this case by other convicts which were dismissed then,” the court said.
The Delhi High Court in 2014 and the Supreme Court in 2017 had upheld the convictions in the gang-rape and murder case and confirmed the death sentences awarded to the convicts – Akshay, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh.
Last year, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, and Mukesh Singh had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court asking it to reconsider its 2017 order that had upheld their convictions.
The Supreme Court refused and the men remain on death row. One of them – Vinay Sharma – filed a mercy petition before the President. The ministry of home affairs has recommended to the President that the mercy plea be rejected. However, soon afterwards Vinay Sharma denied signing a mercy plea in the first place.
President of India Ram Nath Kovind had said that there shouldn't be mercy pleas in cases like these.
Meanwhile, the convicts are imprisoned in Tihar Jail in the national capital and rumours of preparations to hang the convicts have been doing the rounds.
The jail authorities have written to the prison department in the state of Uttar Pradesh, requesting that they keep the hangmen on standby for possible hanging(s) at Tihar. Tihar does not have hangmen on its payrolls while the Uttar Pradesh jail department employs two. The chief of the Uttar Pradesh jail department has confirmed that Tihar jail sent such a request and has said that the hangmen will be made available to the prison whenever needed.
Ram Singh and a minor were among the six convicts in the brutal gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student who came to be called Nirbhaya.
While Ram Singh killed himself in prison, the minor involved in the crime served a three-year term at a reformation centre and was released.
The 2012 Delhi gang-rape case involved a rape and fatal assault that occurred on 16 December 2012 in Munirka, a neighbourhood in South Delhi. The rape and murder of the 23-year-old woman had led to country-wide outrage over the safety of women in the country.