One of the death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case moved an additional sessions court on Thursday to seek “high-level treatment” after he reportedly banged his head against the wall of his prison cell at Tihar Central Jail, reported Bar and Bench. The convict, Vinay Sharma, has cited “grievous head injury, fracture in his right arm, mental illness, and schizophrenia” in his plea seeking medical aid.
The four convicts in the case – the other three being Akshay Thakur, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta – are scheduled to be executed at 6 am on March 3.
Following Sharma’s plea, Justice Dharmender Rana instructed Tihar jail officials to submit a report in the matter, and posted the case for further hearing on February 22 at 12 pm. Advocate AP Singh, representing Sharma, said the convict failed to recognise his own mother and him during a legal meeting. Singh said Sharma had suffered serious head injuries and had fractured his right arm, adding that he has been suffering from anxiety and getting insufficient sleep.
“Please refer convict to IHBAS [Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences] Hospital, Shahdara, Delhi for high-level treatment/better management of mental illness, insanity and schizophrenia and provide better management/treatment in his grievous head injury and fracture in his right arm and also call report and immediate directions to jail number three of Central Jail, Tihar, Delhi,” the plea read, according to Hindustan Times.
An unidentified senior jail official claimed that Sharma had tried to hurt himself by banging his head against a wall on Sunday afternoon. He was stopped after security personnel spotted him. The official added that the convict had suffered minor injuries, reported PTI. “He is irritable in nature and acts different from the other three convicts,” an official said.
During Monday’s hearing on the death warrants, the court was informed that Sharma had declared on February 11 that he was on a hunger strike. His counsel had then argued that he could not be hanged since he was suffering from mental illness, adding that he was assaulted in jail and had head injuries. The court had instructed Tihar officials to take appropriate care of the convict.
The execution of the four convicts has been postponed twice. The death warrants were first issued for January 22, and then postponed to February 1 because of the mercy pleas filed by two of the convicts.
On February 14, the Supreme Court dismissed convict Vinay Sharma’s petition challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the president. Sharma had filed the mercy petition on January 29, and it was rejected by President Ram Nath Kovind on February 1.
Six men raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus in Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012. The woman succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore. The gangrape triggered huge protests in the Capital and across the country. One convict died in prison, while a minor convict was sent to a detention home for juveniles and was released in December 2015.