Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 14
The Supreme Court rejected Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case convict Vinay Sharma's plea challenging rejection of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.
A three-judge Bench of Justice R Banumathi said there was no merit in his contentions and that the President didn't consider all relevant material.
The Bench–which also includes Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AS Bopanna—had earlier dismissed another death row convict Mukesh Kumar Singh’s petition challenging rejection of his mercy petition by the President.
The mercy petition of convict Akshay has also been rejected by the President, while convict Pawan has not yet filed a curative petition—the last legal remedy available to a convict.
Pawan also has the option of filing a mercy plea.
The Bench has still seized the Center's plea for separate execution of the four convicts in the case.
In his petition, Vinay had alleged that the President's decision of rejecting his mercy plea was communicated to him in jail on January 31, and that the rejection was done in a "mala fide" manner.
Vinay’s counsel demanded commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment claiming he has “developed mental illness” inside the prison due to the alleged "torture and ill-treatment".
He alleged that Vinay was tortured, put in solitary confinement and due to trauma suffered in jail, he has a mental illness.
However, Mehta, representing the Centre and Delhi Government, opposed Singh's submission, saying that the President examined all relevant records and due process was followed in rejection of Vinay’s mercy petition.
Placing a medical report that dated February 12 of Vinay, Mehta said the convict was medically fit.
He alleged in his plea that "public statements" made by ministers at the Centre as well as in the Delhi government supporting his execution had "pre-judged the outcome of his mercy petition", and there also appears to be "non-application" of mind on the part of the President in rejecting his mercy plea.
The 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gang-raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012, inside a running bus in south Delhi by six men and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road.