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The Supreme Court today dismissed the petition filed by Vinay Sharma, a death row convict in the Nirbhaya rape case, challenging the rejection of his mercy petition by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. (Vinay Sharma vs UOI)
The order was pronounced by the three-Judge Bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna after it was reserved for orders yesterday. Finding no merit in any of the grounds cited by Vinay to challenge the rejection of his mercy plea, the Bench held,
The Court noted that the case records, judgments of the trial court, High Court and the Supreme Court, Nominal Role of the Vinay, his medical report, Social Investigation Report and other relevant documents were forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Accordingly, the note put up before the President of India was a detailed one and all the relevant materials were placed before him for his considertaion, it stated.
Vinay's mercy petition was rejected by the President on February 1.
In his petition before the Supreme Court, Vinay had contended that the rejection of his mercy plea by the President was bad in law and liable to be set aside since it was underscored by bias and non-application of mind.
Appearing through Advocate AP Singh, Vinay had claimed that there were procedural irregularities in the consideration of the mercy petition and certain relevant reports such as his medical report, social investigation report etc were not placed before the President for his perusal.
Vinay argued that the President failed to consider that he was not only kept in solitary confinement for a very long time but was also tortured by the Authorities and other prisoners, which were grounds for commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.
Vinay also contended that he was suffering from “mental illness” and therefore, the death warrant qua could not be executed.
It was also submitted that the President failed to consider that he was not a habitual offender and was only 19 years old at the time of commission.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on the other hand, defended the rejection of the mercy petition on the ground that due procedure was followed in the case.
He informed the Court that all the relevant documents including the record of the case, medical record of Vinay, his past criminal history, economical condition of the family was forwarded to the President by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
SG Mehta also opposed claims of solitary confinement and mental illness.
Contending that the scope of judicial review in the matter was very limited, SG Mehta had urged the Court to dismiss the petition.
[Read the Judgment]