Delhi

Vinay moves ECI against mercy plea rejection

‘Model code of conduct was in force when Delhi govt. made its recommendation’

One of the four death row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gang-rape and murder case, Vinay Sharma, has moved the Election Commission of India questioning the timing of the rejection of his mercy plea.

In a representation made before the poll panel, advocate A.P. Singh, representing Vinay, contended that the model code of conduct for the Delhi elections was in force when the Delhi government made its recommendation to the President to reject Vinay’s mercy plea.

“A very important question arise that during the imposition of the code of conduct whether an MLA candidate Satendra Kumar Jain, who is not even a legislator, can use the power of the post of Home Minister of the State to recommend the rejection of mercy petition of death row convict Vinay Sharma,” the representation to the ECI stated.

The plea also cited that Vinay was suffering from “insanity, mental illness, schizophrenia, head injury and fracture in right arm”.

Vinay had applied for mercy from President Ram Nath Kovind on January 29, which was recommended to be rejected by the Home Ministry and the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi on the next day, the counsel said. The President then rejected the mercy petition on February 1.

A Delhi court on Monday had issued fresh death warrants for March 3 at 6 a.m. against all the four convicts. All convicts “to be hanged by the neck until they are dead on March 3, at 6 a.m.,” the court had said.

The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana pursuant to pleas by Tihar jail and the victim’s parents, seeking issuance of a fresh date to hang the convicts.

This is the third time the court is issuing death warrants against Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Kumar Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar (31). The trial court had issued the first death warrants for January 22, which was later postponed to February 1.

Except Pawan, all others had exhausted the legal remedies available to file a curative petition before the Supreme Court. The President has also rejected the mercy pleas of Singh, Kumar and Vinay.

The four were sentenced to death by a local court in 2013. The order has since been upheld by the High Court and the Supreme Court.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:26:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/vinay-moves-eci-against-mercy-plea-rejection/article30884917.ece

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