A Delhi court on Thursday appointed advocate Ravi Qazi to represent Pawan Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana appointed Mr. Qazi after Mr. Gupta refused to take a lawyer offered by DLSA as legal aid.
The court had on Wednesday offered a counsel to Mr. Gupta and expressed its displeasure over the delay in the process from his side. Mr. Gupta said he had removed his earlier lawyer and would need time to engage a new one.
The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) had provided Mr. Gupta’s father with a list of its empanelled advocates to chose from.
Mr. Gupta is the only one among the four convicts who has not yet filed a curative petition — the last legal remedy available to a person, which is decided in-chamber. He also has the option of filing a mercy plea.
The Supreme Court Thursday reserved order for Friday on Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case convict Vinay Sharma’s plea challenging rejection of his mercy petition by the President alleging that it was done in a “mala fide” manner.
Sharma, one of the four convicts on death row in the 2012 case, has also sought commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment claiming that he has “developed mental illness” inside the prison due to the alleged “torture and ill-treatment“.