Nirbhaya convicts to file Curative Petition

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  1. The convicts in the December 2012 gang rape and murder case might move a curative petition against the death penalty awarded to the them.
  2. Curative petition is the last judicial resort available for redressal of grievances in court which is normally decided by judges in-chamber. It is only in rare cases that such petitions are given an open-court hearing.
  3. The concept of curative petition was first evolved by the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and Anr. (2002) where the question was whether an aggrieved person is entitled to any relief against the final judgement/order of the Supreme Court, after dismissal of a review petition.
  4. The Supreme Court in the said case held that in order to prevent abuse of its process and to cure gross miscarriage of justice, it may reconsider its judgements in exercise of its inherent powers. For this purpose, the Court has devised what has been termed as a “curative” petition.
  5. The top court has outlined certain specific conditions for filing a curative petition (a)The petitioner will have to establish that there was a genuine violation of principles of natural justice (b)The petition is to be sent to the three senior-most judges and judges of the bench who passed the judgment affecting the petition (c)If the majority of the judges on the above bench agree that the matter needs hearing, then it would be sent to the same bench (as far as possible) and (d)The court could impose “exemplary costs” to the petitioner if his plea lacks merit.