The Delhi High Court on Thursday rejected 2012 Delhi gangrape convict Pawan Kumar Gupta’s claim that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime, Hindustan Times reported. The court said it cannot determine the claim at this stage.
Justice Suresh Kait also imposed a Rs 25,000 fine on Gupta’s counsel AP Singh for wasting the court’s time and using delaying tactics. The judge asked the Bar Council of Delhi to take action against Singh for filing the affidavit.
The hearing in the High Court came a day after the Supreme Court rejected the review petition of another convict in the case, Akshay Kumar Singh. Singh, Gupta, and two other men – Mukesh and Vinay Sharma – are among among the six men who raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. The woman succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. The gangrape triggered huge protests in the Capital and across the country. One convict died in prison, while a minor convict was sent to a detention home for juveniles and was released in December 2015.
The four others were given the death penalty – first by a trial court in September 2013, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court six months later and the Supreme Court in May 2017. A local court in Delhi on Wednesday refused to immediately issue warrants to execute the four, and directed Tihar Jail authorities to ask them if they were planning to file mercy pleas before President Ram Nath Kovind. The four men have been given a week’s time to file their replies.
Additional Sessions Judge Satish Kumar Arora, who heard the Delhi government’s plea to issue the warrants, said he would wait for a copy of the Supreme Court’s order dismissing convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s review petition. He postponed the hearing to January 7.