Lisa Coutinho | Pravin Gandhi College of Law | 25th March 2020
Pawan Kumar Gupta v. State od NCT of Delhi Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 122 of 2020
The petitioner, (a convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case), filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by His Excellency the President of India on various grounds, namely: (i) that there was miscarriage of justice in rejection of mercy petition. (ii) that he was a juvenile on the date of incident, and that his claim of juvenility has not been finally determined. (iii) the petitioner has been tortured in prison and had sustained head injuries for which he has not been given proper treatment.
The main issue is whether His Excellence the President of India is justified in rejecting the mercy petition filed by the petitioner.
The Supreme Court, after hearing both sides held that it does not find any ground to entertain the writ petition warranting judicial review of the order rejecting the mercy petition. The alleged torture, if any, in the prison cannot be a ground for judicial review of the executive order passed under Article 72 of the Constitution of India rejecting the mercy petition.
The Court also rejected the plea of juvenility raised by the petitioner contending that the court has not determined his plea of juvenility.
Insofar as the contention of the petitioner’s counsel that the petitioner might not have shared the common intention along with the co-convicts and that he cannot be imposed with such a grave capital punishment is concerned, the Apex court holds the view that these grounds have already been considered by the Trial Court as well as the High Court and by these, the petitioner has been found guilty.
While dismissing the petition, the Court stated that when the power is vested in the very high constitutional authority, it must be presumed that the said authority had acted carefully after considering all the aspects of the matter.