After recusing himself from hearing the review petition of one of the convicts in the heinous Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case of 2012, Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde has constituted a new bench to hear the petition. The new bench comprises of Justices Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna and is headed by Justice R Banumathi. They will begin with the hearings in the review petition from December 18.

Earlier today the Supreme Court bench of R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan headed by CJI Bobde was supposed to hear the review petition of Akshay Kumar Singh but the CJI opted out of the hearing. When the hearing began, the convict’s advocate A P Singh had only begun submitting his arguments for Singh expressing reservations about the manner in which the investigation was conducted in the Nirbhaya case.

Also read: Seven Years Of Nirbhaya Gangrape Case: Justice Nowhere In Sight

However, before the submissions could begin, CJI Bobde figured that one of his relatives, Arjun Bobde had earlier represented Nirbhaya’s family. The CJI noted that since Nirbhaya’s former advocate is related to him, it would be appropriate for him to recuse himself from it.

“I was hoping that the review petition will be rejected today,” mother of Nirbhaya, Asha Devi said. “Like we have waited for seven years, we will wait for one more day. Hopefully, the review petition will be rejected tomorrow and they will be hanged soon,” she told reporters.

Singh had filed the review petition last week and he stated that on account of Delhi’s polluted air and contaminated water, everybody’s life span is shortening and so he must be relieved from the death penalty. On December 13, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi had also appealed to the apex court that she be heard too when the bench is hearing Singh’s review petition to which the court had relented.

In July 2018, the Supreme Court had heard the review petition of the other three convicts in the case – Mukesh, 30, Pawan Gupta, 23 and Vinay Sharma, 24 – and rejected all of them. During the hearing, Singh was also present and the bench had repeatedly asked him if he would also like to file his review petition but he had refused back then.

However, before the submissions could begin, CJI Bobde figured that one of his relatives, Arjun Bobde had earlier represented Nirbhaya’s family. The CJI noted that since Nirbhaya’s former advocate is related to him, it would be appropriate for him to recuse himself from it.

Also read: Nirbhaya Case Lawyer Debunks Rumour Of Convicts’ Execution On Dec 16

Last year in December, Asha Devi had also filed a petition in Delhi’s Patiala Court to expedite the execution of the four remaining convicts in the gang rape and murder case. The court on December 15 had decided to hear the case on December 18, a day after SC was supposed to hear Singh’s review petition.

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student named Jyoti Singh aka Nirbhaya exited a South Delhi mall at around 10.30 in the night after watching a movie with a male friend. The male friend and Jyoti took a bus to reach home. The bus had only six people inside, including the driver and conductor, who first beat up the friend and then brutally gang-raped Jyoti in the moving bus. They, then, threw Jyoti out on the road.

Picture credit: Zee News

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