In a request filed on behalf of Vinay Sharma, lawyer AP Singh said he was ready with the mercy petition.(HT Photo)
In a request filed on behalf of Vinay Sharma, lawyer AP Singh said he was ready with the mercy petition.(HT Photo)

Death row convict Vinay wants to send personal diary to Prez with mercy plea

Mukesh Singh’s petition for mercy was rejected last week by President Kovind within a span of just four days. It was the fastest decision on a mercy petition ever.
By Richa Banka | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2020 06:20 PM IST

Vinay Sharma, the 26-year-old ordered to be hanged to death on February 1 along with three accomplices for gang rape, rushed to a Delhi court on Friday to seek orders to Tihar jail authorities to quickly hand over his 170-page personal diary. Sharma, in his application, told the court that he wants to attach his personal diary to his petition seeking mercy from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Only one of the four men convicted for the 2012 Delhi gang rape of a 23-year-old has filed a mercy petition so far.

Mukesh Singh’s petition for mercy was rejected last week by President Kovind within a span of just four days. It was the fastest decision on a mercy petition ever. But Mukesh Singh’s unsuccessful attempt to get a presidential pardon necessitated a fresh death warrant and pushed the execution of the four convicts from January 22 to February 1.

In a request filed on behalf of Vinay Sharma, lawyer AP Singh said he was ready with the mercy petition. But at his interaction with the convict on January 22, Vinay Sharma “expressed a desire to attach his personal original diary containing 170 pages to the mercy petition”.

AP Singh said he had filed a request with the jail authorities but they were yet to comply.

Jail officials had earlier supplied Vinay Sharma’s medical records, records of cellular confinement, amount earned in prison through labour and records of educational and reformative activities such as Tihar Olympics and painting.

Four accused — Pawan (25), Vinay Sharma (26), Mukesh Kumar (32) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — were convicted and sentenced to death for the gang rape. One of the six people arrested in this case was tried as a juvenile and sent to a correction home for three years before he was released. The sixth, Ram Singh, allegedly killed himself in Tihar.

The trial was completed within just a year of the crime but the death sentence could not be executed on account of legal formalities and pending appeals.

The delay in their execution has upset the family of the 23-year-old paramedic student who has underscored that the criminal justice system not only needs to protect the rights of accused, but also the victims.

The woman was beaten and raped in a moving bus on a cold December night in 2012 and her friend thrashed. They were thrown out of the bus moving at high speed.

She was left on the road half-naked, seriously injured, severely bleeding and shivering in the winter chill. The brutal crime had sparked public outrage across India, bringing thousands of people onto the streets in protest against authorities’ failure to ensure women’s safety.

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