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Nirbhaya case: Supreme Court reserves order on Vinay Sharma’s plea challenging rejection of mercy petition

Convict Vinay Sharma. | File

Convict Vinay Sharma. | File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

Court’s jurisdiction while hearing a challenge against the President’s rejection is limited, says Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on a plea by the Nirbhaya case convict, Vinay Sharma, against the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice R. Banumathi, Sharma’s lawyer, A. P. Singh, claimed the rejection of the plea for mercy amounted to a gross miscarriage of justice. The file sent to the President did not have the signature of the Home Minister and the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi. Mr. Singh said he had filed a Right to Information (RTI) request.

‘Not like first appeal’

Justice Ashok Bhushan told Mr. Singh that the court’s jurisdiction while hearing a challenge against the President’s rejection is limited. “You cannot argue here like how you are arguing a first appeal,” Mr. Bhushan observed.

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The Bench said an RTI appeal cannot be used to inspect the entire file and find loopholes to further the defence case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta countered Mr. Singh’s claim, saying the documents were signed and the process of consultation and decision-making was completed in accordance with procedure.

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“It is not for your benefit, it is for the satisfaction of the court,” Justice Bhushan told Mr. Singh. The court would pronounce its judgment on February 14.

Centre’s appeal listed

Meanwhile, the Bench has listed the Centre’s appeal to hang the Nirbhaya convicts separately. The appeal would be heard on February 14 at 2 p.m.

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Both the Centre and the National Capital Territory of Delhi have challenged the conclusion arrived at by the Delhi High Court judgment on February 5 that the Delhi Prison Rules mandates the four convicts to be executed at the same time.

Senior lawyer Vrinda Grover would represent Mukesh, Mr. Singh would appear for Akshay and Vinay, while senior advocate Anjana Prakash agreed to act as the amicus curiae for Pawan Gupta.

We have heard Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General appearing on behalf of the Union of India and NCT of Delhi, the court said. 

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 8:18:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nirbhaya-case-sc-reserves-order-on-vinay-sharmas-plea-challenging-rejection-of-mercy-petition/article30809326.ece

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