One of the four men convicted in the 2012 Nirbhaya rape and murder has filed a petition in the Supreme Court appealing against his death sentence. In the plea, convict Akshay presented a series of bizarre claims. He cited Hindu religious texts and the Delhi pollution crisis as reasons why his death sentence should not be carried out.
In a 14-page Criminal review petition, Akshay states: "Why death penalty when age is reducing...it is mentioned in our Ved, Purans and Upanishads that...people lived the life of thousand years...now it is Kalyug, in this era, age of human beings have reduced much. It has now come to 50-60 years...this is almost a true analysis...when a person faces stark realities of life, then he is no better than a dead body."
The petition further makes an inexplicable argument to save himself from death penalty. It said the National Capital Region was "burst and like a gas chamber" and that the poor quality of drinking water - "full of poison." "Life is going short to short, then why death penalty?" the petition asked.
The petition then goes on to quote Mahatma Gandhi - "Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless man..."
Akshay was convicted in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case alongwith Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma. All four were given death penalty. The punishment was upheld by the Supreme Court. Review petitions were filed earlier by Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma but all of them were rejected by the Supreme Court.
23-year-old 'Nirbhaya' was gang-raped and attacked on a moving bus in December 2012. She died at a Singapore hospital due to serious injuries.