SC dismisses Vinay Sharma's plea in Nirbhaya case

SC dismisses Vinay Sharma's plea challenging mercy plea rejection in Nirbhaya case

Supreme Court of India. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by Vinay Sharma, one of the four convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, against the rejection of his mercy petition by the President and seeking commutation of a death sentence for alleged torture, mental illness, illegal solitary confinement and disregard to the relevant materials.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna said that a detailed note and all the relevant materials were put up before the President who rejected his mercy petition on February 1.

“We do not find any ground for the exercise of judicial review of the order of the President and this writ petition is liable to be dismissed,” the bench said.

 

 

The court also pointed out public statements made by Delhi government's ministers on his mercy plea did not have any bearing in the final decision of the President and did not either show bias or amounted to pre-judging the matter.

The bench put the Union government's petition for the separate hanging of the convicts who have exhausted their legal and constitutional remedies, for consideration on February 20.

Justice Banumathi, who was dictating the order, felt giddiness and collapsed on chair momentarily. The judge, who was learnt to have been on medication for fever, was taken to the medical facility and was found to be stable. The order was subsequently passed in chamber.

In the matter, the court was informed that the trial court had on Thursday adjourned the hearing on a fresh date for death warrant to February 17 in view of the pendency of writ petition by Vinay.

“Since Vinay's petition has been dismissed by our order of the date. We are of the view that these petitions (on separate hanging) be taken up thereafter,” the bench said.

The court also clarified that the pendency of these petitions may not be treated as an impediment for the trial court to consider the matter on its own merits. The Centre and Delhi government have challenged the Delhi HC's February 5 order which had held the four convicts had to be executed simultaneously for having been sentenced to death by a common order.

The case so far:

* SC so far dismissed separate pleas by Mukesh and Vinay against the rejection of mercy petitions by President.

* Execution of convicts scheduled on Jan 22 and Feb 1 failed.

* Mercy pleas by Mukesh, Vinay and Akshay stand rejected by the President.

* Fourth convict Pawan has so far not filed a curative petition and clemency plea.

* All the four convicts were awarded the capital punishment in the brutal gang rape and murder of the 23-year-old victim, given name of 'Nirbhaya', in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.

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