By Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan
New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) One of the convicts on death row in the December 16, 2012, Nirbhaya gang-rape case has filed a mercy petition before President Ram Nath Kovind. Convict Vinay Kumar Sharma, facing the gallows, is in Tihar Jail since his arrest.
Director General of Tihar Jail, Sandeep Goel confirmed this to IANS. He said: “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.”
Three of the convicts are housed in Tihar and one is lodged in Mandoli jail.
For several days after the notice was served to the convicts, they remained silent. On Friday, a lawyer met Pawan Kumar Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh, the Nirbhaya convicts. After the meeting the lawyer of Vinay Kumar Sharma had told IANS that his client will not seek amnesty from the President. Two convicts will file curative petitions while one of the convicts will seek review of the court’s decision, he had said.
When Goel confirmed that one of the convicts has sought amnesty from the President, it was like a bolt from the blue for the lawyer.
Vinay Kumar Sharma’s lawyer Ajay Prakash Singh told IANS that he has no idea how his client changed his mind in just two-three days to seek amnesty.
“May be Tihar Jail authorities pressurised him to write mercy petition,” Singh told IANS.
The Tihar Jail administration has denied the allegation saying they have no right to put pressure on any of the convicts. “Our job was to serve notice to the convicts. If we had put pressure on them, why did the other three not seek amnesty,” said the jail administration.
(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])