After a prolonged wait of seven years, three months and four days, the perseverance of a mother and her never ending fight for her daughter has finally paid off. Seven years after a young medical student was brutally assaulted and gang raped in a moving bus in Delhi, the killers were finally hanged at 5.30 am on Friday, 20th March 2020. The pre-dawn execution took place after the Supreme Court dismissed the final petition of the convicts.

Less than two hours before the execution, Petitioner, Pawan Kumar knocked the doors of the Supreme Court challenging the rejection of mercy plea by the President of India. The mercy petition was initially filed before the President on the 4th of March 2020 was rejected by the Excellency. The present petition was filed on the 18th of March 2020 on the same grounds as former. It was pleaded in the mercy petition that the said convict was a juvenile on the commission of the crime and was subjected to brutal beatings in the prison. Further, according to a press release where the president opined on not allowing Juvenile criminals to file mercy petitions, Mr. Sham Khwaja, counsel for Pawan Kumar blatantly accused the president of not looking into the mercy petition with an open mind. Both the grounds were subsequently rejected by the Supreme Court.

Two important aspects were discussed by the amicus curiae in this regard: One relating to the desirability of indicating reasons of the order granting pardon or remission, while the other was an equally important question relating to power to withdraw the order of granting pardon/remission, if subsequently, materials are placed to show that certain relevant materials were not considered or certain materials of extensive value were kept out of consideration. According to the Amicus Curiae, reasons are to be indicated, in the absence of which the process of judicial review would get affected.

Eventually, the last-ditch effort of the convicts met with its final defeat in which the present petition was dismissed by Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice R. Banumathi, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A.N Bopanna.

Judgement: Judgement