Thursday, February 2, 2023

Nirbhaya Case : Supreme Court dismisses convict Vinay Sharma’s plea against mercy rejection

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed Nirbhaya death-row convict Vinay Sharma’s plea challenging the rejection of his mercy petition

A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna said the contention by the petitioner that materials were not made available to the President cannot be accepted.

The bench had reserved orders on the petition yesterday, after hearing Advocate A P Singh for the petitioner and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the Delhi police.

Sharma had approached the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Sharma, through his counsel A P Singh, also pleaded for the commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.

President Ram Nath Kovind had on February 1 dismissed the mercy plea of Sharma.

On January 31, the trial court had stayed “till further orders” the execution of the four convicts in the case — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31), who are lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.

According to the prosecution, Singh has exhausted all his remedies, including mercy plea and the challenge to its rejection in the apex court., while Gupta has not yet filed a curative petition — the last and final legal remedy available to a person which is decided in-chamber. Gupta has also the option of filing a mercy plea.

A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ”Nirbhaya”, was gang-raped and savagely assaulted on the night of December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in South Delhi. She died of her injuries a fortnight later in a Singapore hospital.

Six people, including the four convicts, Ram Singh and a juvenile — were named as accused.

The trial of the five adult men began in a special fast-track court in March 2013.

Ram Singh, the prime accused, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail days after the trial began. The juvenile, who was said to be the most brutal of the attackers, was put in a correctional home for three years.

The juvenile was released in 2015 and sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns over a threat to his life. He, when released, was 20 years old.

The trial of the four adults began in a special fast-track court in March 2013 and they were sentenced to death in September 2013 by the trial court.

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