One of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case of 2012, Vinay Kumar Sharma has filed for mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind. Sharma has filed the petition on November 6, confirmed Director General of Tihar Jail, Sandeep Goel to IANS.

“Tihar Jail authorities had informed the Nirbhaya gang-rape case convicts that they have exhausted all legal remedies and are only left with the provision of filing a mercy petition against the death sentence before the President. They had received the notice on October 29,” he said. After the jail authorities sent notice to the three convicts housed in Tihar Jail – Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh, they wrote back to the jail authorities seeking withdrawal of the notice. There are a total of four convicts in the case. Apart from these three, Mukesh Singh is lodged in Mandoli Jail.

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The lawyer of the three convicts, Ajay Prakash Singh wrote a letter back to the Tihar jail administration in which he mentioned all the other legal remedies left for the convicts before applying for mercy petition. He states that Singh still has a review plea to be filed in the Supreme Court and the petition claiming his juvenility at the time of the offense. The convicts also have a curative petition to be filed.

In July last year, the apex court had dismissed the review petition filed by Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay while Ajay never filed for a review petition despite being summoned by the top court.

Lawyer of the parents of the victim in the case, Jeetendra Kumar Jha in a recent interview with SheThePeople.TV rejected the claims of the convicts’ lawyer. “Among the four convicts, only Akshay has an opportunity to file a review petition as he did not file it along with the other three convicts but the time limitation for filing it has lapsed way back,” he said.

On the petition claiming juvenility filed by Vinay, Jha said, “He had filed a petition claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime with the sessions court after his review plea was dismissed by the SC. The sessions court dismissed it after which he preferred a revision of the sessions court order before the HC but it couldn’t be listed because there were defects in it.”

“Our job was to serve notice to the convicts. If we had put pressure on them, why did the other three not seek amnesty?” – Tihar Jail administration

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AP Singh told IANS on Friday last week that Vinay will not file a mercy petition. He also said that two convicts will file a curative petition while Ajay will file a review petition. After Vinay filed for mercy petition, it came as a surprise for his lawyer, Singh. He said that he has no idea how his client changed his mind to seek clemency from the president in a matter of two-three days.

“Maybe Tihar Jail authorities pressurised him to write mercy petition,” Mr Singh told IANS.

However, the jail administration denied the allegations and said, “Our job was to serve notice to the convicts. If we had put pressure on them, why did the other three not seek amnesty?”

What Is A Mercy Petition?

Every accused person, after getting convicted with capital punishment in crime, has a few legal remedies  that he can seek, before serving the ultimate punishment:

1. Review petition: In which the convict can file a plea seeking review of the binding judgment of the Supreme Court in the case.

2. Curative Petition: After the SC dismisses a review petition, the convict can file a curative petition to seek relief against the final judgment/order of the Supreme Court. A curative petition is the last judicial corrective measure that can be pleaded for in any judgment or decision passed by the Supreme Court which is normally decided by Judges in-chamber.

3. Mercy Petition: It is the last legal remedy before the final capital punishment that the convict is entitled to, in which he seeks clemency from the honorable president of the country.

ALSO READ: Nirbhaya Fund To Help Set-Up Anti-Trafficking Units, Women’s Help Desks

Picture Credit- The Hindu

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