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Nirbhaya Convict Cites Mental Illness To Challenge Rejection Of Mercy Petition In SC

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
11 Feb 2020 10:55 AM GMT
Nirbhaya Convict Cites Mental Illness To Challenge Rejection Of Mercy Petition In SC
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Vinay Sharma, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder case, on Tuesday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath KovindSignificantly, today is the last day of the one week time granted by Delhi HC for the convicts to exhaust their legal remedies against execution.In the petition filed through...

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Vinay Sharma, one of the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder case, on Tuesday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind

Significantly, today is the last day of the one week time granted by Delhi HC for the convicts to exhaust their legal remedies against execution.

In the petition filed through Advocate A P Singh , Vinay Sharma claimed that he suffered immense "psychological trauma" due to the cruel and inhuman treatment given to him and also torture in prison.

He also alleged that he was kept in solitary confinement violating norms.  Several medical records are cited to state that he had suffered injuries on his body due to physical assault and torture.

Sharma claimed that he has mental and behavioral issues due to depression, anxiety and adjustment disorders.

The petition then cited the 2014 judgment of the Supreme Court in "Shatrughan Chauhan" case which held that death penalty of convicts with mental illness should be commuted.

It is argued that the President summarily rejected the petition filed seeking mercy under Article 72 of the Constitution of India without adverting to relevant materials on record. The Presidential order is also subject to judicial review, stated the petition, referring to the SC precedent in Epuru Sudhakar case and Shatrughan Chauhan.

The Supreme Court had on January 29 dismissed a similar writ petition filed by another convict, Mukesh Singh, against the rejection of mercy petition. A bench comprising Justices R Banumathi ,Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna held in that case that there was only a limited scope of judicial review over the Presidential order, and held that no ground was made out to interfere with the rejection order.

The convicts were scheduled to be executed on February 1 at 6 AM, as per an order issued by Patiala House court on January 17.

This order was stayed by trial court until further orders on January 31 on the ground that all the convicts have not exhausted their every legal remedies. Mercy petitions of two of the convicts were pending then. The trial court held that these convicts cannot be executed separately, as they were sentenced by a common order.

Though the Centre challenged this order before the Delhi High Court, the HC did not interfere with it. The HC, noting the "delaying tactics" adopted by the convicts, however directed that they should exhaust their remedies within seven days starting from February 5.


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