Dec 16 gang rape case: SC to decide plea on rejection of mercy plea todayUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 22:47 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order in a petition filed by one of the four convicts, Vinay Sharma, in the 2012 Delhi gang rape challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the President.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna will pronounce its verdict for 2pm on Friday.
Vinay Sharma claimed in his petition that he developed mental illness due to the ‘brutal physical and mental torture’ during incarceration.
“Given the brutal forms of physical and mental torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that the petitioner suffered during his incarceration, he developed mental illness which also led him to attempt suicide and inflict self-harm on several occasions”, the petition stated.
The plea also pointed out the economic condition of Sharma’s family and other relevant material, which may not have been considered by the President.
Besides the above, Sharma also said that there was a bias and non-application of mind by the council of ministers of Central and Delhi government, while advising the Lieutenant Governor and President respectively for dealing with his mercy plea.
He, therefore, sought commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government, said that the mercy petition was rejected after taking into account all relevant documents and material.
On the submission concerning mental illness, Mehta said that Sharma was checked regularly by doctors and he has been found to be medically fit.
“These are regular checkups. All prisoners are checked. As per his latest medical report, he is medically fit,” said Mehta.
Vinay Sharma’s mercy plea had been rejected by the President on February 1. His curative petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court on January 14.
The four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur — were convicted for the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old para-medic student in a moving bus in Delhi and were sentenced to death by the trial court in 2013.
Their conviction and sentence were confirmed by the Delhi high court in 2014 and the Supreme Court in May 2017. Subsequently, the review petitions filed by three convicts — Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma — against the Supreme Court judgment were dismissed in 2018 and the review petition by Akshay was dismissed in December 2019.
While three of the four convicts have exhausted all their remedies, one of them Pawan Gupta is yet to file his curative and mercy petitions.
The Supreme Court on Friday will also hear a plea by Central and Delhi governments seeking hanging of those convicts who have exhausted their legal remedies. The court on Thursday issued notices to the four convicts in the matter and also asked senior counsel Anjana Prakash to assist the court as Amicus Curiae in the case of Pawan Gupta.
The Delhi high court had on February 5 ruled that all death row convicts in a given case should be executed together.
Meanwhile, the plea by Tihar jail authorities seeking a fresh date for execution of death warrant was adjourned by the additional sessions court for Monday.