One of the death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case approached the Election Commission on Thursday to challenge the rejection of his mercy plea, and contended that the Model Code of Conduct was in place in the national Capital at that time, reported IANS.
The convict Vinay Sharma’s counsel told the electoral body that the Model Code of Conduct made Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia “ineligible” to reject his mercy plea. Campaigning for the Delhi elections, which were held on February 8, were on when the plea was reportedly rejected by Sisodia, who contested the polls. Sharma’s plea to the Election Commission also pointed out that digital signatures of Sisodia were required, but a WhatsApp screenshot was sent out instead to dismiss his plea.
Sharma’s move came hours after he moved a court in Delhi seeking medical treatment for “grievous head injury, fracture in his right arm, mental illness, and schizophrenia”.
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.
A mercy petition is forwarded by the Delhi government to the lieutenant governor and then to the president. On February 1, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected Sharma’s mercy plea two days after it was filed before him. On February 14, the Supreme Court dismissed Sharma’s petition challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the president. The convict’s curative plea was dismissed in the Supreme Court on January 14 along with fellow convict Mukesh Singh’s.
Earlier in the day, Sharma’s plea in the Delhi court said he was unable to recognise his own mother and his lawyer during a legal meeting. The convict’s lawyer AP Singh told the court that Sharma had suffered serious head injuries and had fractured his right arm, adding that he has been suffering from anxiety and getting insufficient sleep. A senior jail official claimed that Sharma had tried to hurt himself by banging his head against a wall on Sunday afternoon.
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 had 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.