New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce at 1 pm the order on the review petition filed by Akshay Kumar Singh, one of the death-row convicts, in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder case.
During the course of proceedings, Senior advocate AP Singh, representing Akshay, told a newly-constituted bench headed by Justice R Banumathi that his client has been "falsely implicated" in the case and argued against the death penalty awarded to him.
"Death penalty is a primitive method of punishment. Execution kills the criminal not the crime. Use of the death penalty did not seem to have a deterrent effect on criminals and convicts," Singh contended.
The counsel said that the victim died of septicaemia and drug overdose and wrong reports were made to falsely implicate his client.
"The dying declaration was doubtful. This was tutored. This was not voluntary. She has not named Akshay as the accused who had committed the offence."
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Delhi state, said that no mercy should be granted. "There are crimes where humanity is put to shame...crimes when God cries...there should be no mercy," he said.
Akshay has moved the top court seeking review of its 2017 verdict which upheld the death penalty awarded to him and three others in the case.
He has sought modification and leniency in the sentence. The four persons are facing the gallows for rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012.
In May 2017, Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay had knocked the doors of the apex court against a Delhi High Court order which confirmed the capital punishment awarded to them by the trial court in September 2013.
In a voluminous judgement, the bench of the top court had held the attitude of offenders as "bestial proclivity" and said, "It sounds like a story from a different world where humanity is treated with irreverence."
Subsequently, the three convicts besides Akshay had sought review of the judgment but it was dismissed.
Besides four convicts, prime accused Ram Singh had committed suicide in the Tihar jail during the trial of the case. Another accused in the matter was a minor and had appeared before a juvenile justice court.