Dec 16 convict to Kovind: Mercy petition sent without my consent

Anand Mohan J
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He prayed that in the interim, no decision be taken on the mercy petition.

Vinay Sharma, one of the convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape-murder case, has written to President Ram Nath Kovind saying that his mercy petition was sent "without his authorisation", and has prayed for its withdrawal.

Vinay, through his lawyer A P Singh, wrote to the President saying that this mercy petition was sent by the jail authorities with a “mala fide intention” and “criminal conspiracy with the Delhi government without any grounds, supporting documents, mitigating circumstances and on the basis of concealment of many important fact, that is, without filing curative petition before the Supreme Court”.

Vinay also said that there was a case pending before the Delhi High Court on the issue of the juvenility of another convict and that he has not exhausted other legal remedies available in the Constitution of India. He prayed that in the interim, no decision be taken on the mercy petition.

“It is therefore prayed to your kind honour that until the exhaustion of the judicial remedies, including those yet to be filed and/or pending in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court by me as well as my co-accused, you may allow me to withdraw this mercy petition which has been filed without my consent and signature,” his plea read.

This development came after the parents of the gangrape-murder victim wrote to the President praying for dismissal of Vinay’s mercy petition. The mercy petition was first dismissed by the Delhi government and the Lieutenant-Governor’s office, following which it was subsequently sent to the MHA, which was eventually forwarded to the President of India.

However, Vinay’s counsel, A P Singh told The Sunday Express, "I met Vinay yesterday and he told me that he never signed on any mercy petition. I have asked him to draft the withdrawal letter with his signature, clarifying his stand. I will file the curative petition on the behalf of Vinay and a second convict. Review petition of the third convict, Akshay, will also be filed.”

Sandeep Goel, DG, Delhi Prisons, said, “Vinay filed the mercy petition and it has his signature and thumb impression. We forwarded it as per procedure when we received it.”

A Delhi court had on November 29 summoned all four convicts in the case before it on December 13, to explain the stages in which their legal remedies were pending. The amicus curiae in the case, Vrinda Grover, had claimed in court on November 29 that Tihar officials were “misleading” the court on the issue of remedy as Vinay wanted to file a curative petition.