Akshay Thakur, one of the death-row four, in his review petition to the Supreme Court last year—the SC had upheld death for the four in 2017—had absurdly asked for his death sentence to be commuted since, thanks to the poor quality of Delhi’s air and water, his “life is going to be short anyway”.
While Vinay Sharma has challenged the rejection of his mercy petition to the President in the SC, Pawan Gupta had filed a plea in the High Court claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime. Review petitions, curative petitions, petitions against rejection of mercy petitions… no wonder, the parents of the victim feel betrayed by the system after a seven-year long fight for justice.
A cardinal principle of the Indian justice system is “justice should not only be done, but also be seen to be done”. The progress of due process in the matter seems to be eroding trust in due process itself. Perhaps, the apex court should now define what would constitute a complete exhaustion of possible legal remedies, and set a deadline for the same.
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