With the execution date fast approaching and almost all legal remedies being exhausted, Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case, was injured after he reportedly banged his head against the wall of his cell at Delhi’s Tihar jail.
A Tihar jail official was quoted as saying by news agency ANI that Vinay had attempted to hurt himself by banging his head against a wall in his cell, on February 16 following which he received minor injuries.
The latest development comes two days after the Supreme Court dismissed Vinay Sharma’s plea against the rejection of his mercy petition by the President.
Sharma had claimed in the apex court that President Ram Nath Kovind while rejecting his petition had not considered the ‘mental stability’ he suffered due to torture in jail.
The convict in his submission had claimed that all the relevant records including one pertaining to his mental illness had not been submitted to the President in his appeal.
The four convicts — Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur Singh and Pawan Gupta — are to be hanged at 6 am on March 3 after a trial court on Monday issued a fresh death warrant, the third one in less than two months.
The new date of execution was issued as the 7-day deadline set by the Delhi High Court for the exhaustion of all legal remedies ended and no petition was pending in any court as of date.
Tihar Jail’s Law Officer handed over the status report to the court. Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan apprised the court about the current status of the case and also stated that out of the four convicts, three have already exhausted their legal remedies.
The Special Public Prosecutor also stated that the Delhi High Court had given seven days to the convicts to exhaust all the legal remedies available to them and that period is over.
Earlier this month, the Delhi court had dismissed a request by the Tihar Jail authorities seeking fresh warrants to hang all the four convicts.
The trial court, while dismissing the plea of prosecution, stated that death warrants cannot be issued on the basis of conjecture alone.
“It is criminally sinful to execute the convicts when the law permits them to live,” the court observed.
The four convicts in the gangrape case — which triggered massive nationwide outrage in 2012 – have been exploring every legal option one by one to stretch the date of their hanging as much as they can.
The Patiala House Court had on January 31 deferred the hanging of four convicts in Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case — scheduled for February 1 — till further orders.
Earlier, according to a January 7 order, the convicts were to be hanged at 7 am on January 22.
The 23-year-old woman, who came to be known as Nirbhaya, was gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused was a minor and appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another accused committed suicide in Tihar Jail.