One of the four death convicts, Vinay Sharma, in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case filed a mercy petition on Wednesday with the President Ram Nath Kovind.
Following this, the Tihar Jail authorities have no option but to postpone the hanging of all the four convicts.
The Delhi Jail Manual 2018, which prescribes the procedure to file the mercy petition, says the Jail Superintendent will forward the mercy petition of the death convict “with a covering letter reporting the date fixed for the execution has stayed pending receipt of the order of the government on the petition.”
“Since Vinay has filed the mercy petition directly to the President, his petition will come to the Tihar Jail to fulfil the legal formalities as per the Jail Manual,” Raj Kumar, Addl IG, Tihar Jail, says.
The mercy petition is expected to reach Tihar Jail in a couple of days and as per the norms, the jail superintendent will have to stay the hanging of all four convicts.
The law says no individual can be hanged in a case where more than one person has been convicted of the same crime.
Vinay’s 300-page mercy petition details allegations of physical torture in Tihar by other inmates and jail authorities.
He has requested the President to allow his lawyer AP Singh to make an oral representation before him.
“...the entirety of physical and mental torture suffered by the petitioner can be best conveyed to Your Excellency only by means of an oral hearing,” Vinay’s mercy petition says.
So far as the legal remedies available to other three death convicts are concerned, the Supreme Court, on January 29, rejected Mukesh’s petition in which he had challenged the dismissal of his mercy petition by the President. with this, he has exhausted all his options.
Another convict Akshay filed a curative petition on January 28, which the apex court will hear on January 30. In case it is dismissed, he can file a plea for clemency with the President. The fourth convict Pawan Gupta is yet to file his curative petition.
According to a 2014 Supreme Court judgement, a death convict must get 14 days to mentally prepare for hanging and compete for other formalities after his mercy petition is rejected by the President.
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