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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Vinay Sharma, Nirbhaya case convict, wants mercy plea back

This could be Vinay Sharma's delaying tactic, believe legal experts, as the reason he has cited for the withdrawal of the plea is implausible

A convict in the Nirbhaya rape-murder case, Vinay Sharma, has asked the authority to bring his mercy petition back from President Ram Nath Kovind. No, the reason is not that he believes pleading for clemency would be futile.

According to news agency ANI, convict Vinay Sharma in the Nirbhaya case, who pleaded for mercy petition before the president, has demanded that his plea be brought back to him immediately. The convict has claimed that the mercy petition file sent to the president by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) does not have his signature on it nor is it authorised on his behalf.

Notably, the MHA had on Friday sent the file of mercy petition of Vinay Sharma, convicted in the Nirbhaya rape case, to the president with the recommendation to dismiss the plea.

The Union Home Ministry had earlier sent the recommendation of the Delhi government to President Ram Nath Kovind to reject the mercy plea of ​​convict Vinay Sharma in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case. Officials had shared this information with the media yesterday (6 December).

The move comes two days after Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal forwarded the mercy petition, only to be dismissed.

Legal experts see no chance of President Ram Nath Kovind offering clemency to Vinay Sharma, given the heinous of his crime. At the same time, they believe this could be a delaying tactic that the convict is taking recourse to by asking for the plea with the ruse that his signatures are missing.

The plea for clemency by Vinay Sharma is one of the two reasons for the delay in the execution of convicts of the Nirbhaya case. The other issue is going to be sorted out soon: Non-availability of an executioner in Tihar Jail.

The incident had taken place on 16 December 2012 when ‘Nirbhaya’ (a fictitious name given by The Times of India, which stuck), a paramedic student, returning from a cinema accompanied by a male friend, was gang-raped in a bus and also brutalised by the insertion of a rod into her, which damaged her internal organs, finally leading to her death a few days later despite utmost medical care in Singapore and Delhi’s AIIMS. The barbaric incident sparked nationwide fury and led to widespread protests on the streets, which the police reacted to with water cannon fires and lathi charge.

The recommendation of the Delhi government and MHA to dismiss the mercy petition in the Nirbhaya case comes at a time when there is again nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of a 25-year-old veterinarian in Hyderabad. While the accused in Hyderabad were shot dead in a questionable encounter, there is a demand for strict laws and punishment in cases of crime of rape across the country. The matter has been raised in Parliament.

If the president rejects the mercy petition in the Nirbhaya case, the court concerned will issue a death warrant to hang the convict. The court will also decide the day the convict will be hanged.

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