Legal News, Nation, (New Delhi), February 13:-The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved order for Friday on Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case convict Vinay Sharma’s plea challenging rejection of his mercy petition by the President alleging that it was done in a “mala fide” manner.
Sharma, one of the four convicts on death row in the 2012 case, has also sought commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment claiming that he has “developed mental illness” inside the prison due to the alleged “torture and ill-treatment”.
A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna said the court will pass orders on Friday at 2 pm on Sharma’s plea.
The bench heard arguments for nearly two hours on behalf of Sharma and the Union of India and NCT of Delhi.
Advocate A P Singh appearing for Sharma argued that his client’s mercy petition was rejected by the president in a “mala fide” manner and all relevant records were not produced before him.
He said Sharma was subjected to torture, put in solitary confinement and due to trauma suffered in jail, he has mental illness.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Union of India and NCT of Delhi, opposed Singh’s argument and said the President has examined all relevant records and due process under the law was followed in rejection of Sharma’s mercy petition.
Mehta placed before the court a medical report of February 12 of Sharma and said he was found to be medically fit.
Singh alleged that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor and home minister had not signed the recommendation for rejection of his mercy plea.
The bench rejected Singh’s request to peruse recommendation for rejection of mercy plea.
It perused the record and said they had signed the recommendation for rejection of his mercy petition.
Sharma moved the apex court on Tuesday challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the president and claimed the “hurried rejection” was “mala fide” and violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
The mercy petition of Akshay was also rejected by the President.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who came to be known as ‘Nirbhaya’ (fearless), 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.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)