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Nirbhaya Gang-rape Case: SC to Hear Sentencing of Convicts Afresh


First published: February 3, 2017, 7:52 PM IST | Updated: 7 mins ago

A file image of Nirbhaya’s mother during a protest in Delhi.

New Delhi: In a twist to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case, the Supreme Court on Friday accepted Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran’s submissions that there has been violation of procedure with regard to the sentencing of the four convicts.

A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan decided that it would hear afresh the matter with regard to sentencing of the four convicts.

The Court accepted Ramachandran’s submissions that the mandate under Section 235 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was not followed by the trial court and the Delhi High Court.

It then proceeded to record that there are two “modes” to deal with the matter: remand the case back to trial court or allow the accused to produce necessary data and advance submissions on sentencing.

The court chose the second mode and said, “We think it appropriate to adopt the second mode. We would like to give opportunity to accused persons to file affidavits along with documents stating mitigating circumstances.”

The accused are required to file their affidavits by February 23.

Four accused in the case had been sentenced to death by a trial court, which was upheld by the Delhi High Court in 2014.

Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Markandey Katju dismissed the amicus curiae report saying that there was no question of looking at mitigating factors in this case as the gravity of the crime demanded death penalty.

Amicus curiae is an expert who is not a party to a case and is not solicited by a party, but who assists a court by offering information that is vital for the case to be decided in an unbiased manner. The decision on whether to admit the information lies at the discretion of the court.

(With agency inputs)