Delhi Court dismisses plea of Dec 16 gangrape convict claiming schizophrenia

Anand Mohan J
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In a reply to Vinay’s application, Tihar jail authorities told the court that his application is “a bundle of distorted facts”.

A Delhi court has dismissed the application of Vinay Sharma, one of the death row convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape-murder case, seeking medical treatment for schizophrenia, observing that the convict desired to falsely diagnose himself with mental illness.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana dismissed Vinay’s plea that he be shifted to the Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in Shahdara as he was suffering from schizophrenia and had sustained head injuries. His lawyer A P Singh had submitted that Vinay was unable to recognise his own mother.

A S J Rana wrote in the order, “It is categorically observed that according to his psychological assessment, no behavioural abnormality was noted. It is reported that the conduct of the convict is suggestive of deliberate disruptive behaviour. It is specifically reported that the convict was asking the psychiatry specialist for legally favouring the convict by diagnosing him mentally ill for helping him commute his death sentence. On mental status examination, the convict was found to have dramatic and superficial demonstration of mental illness. No objective signs of psychological distress were observed. The convict desires himself to be falsely diagnosed to be mentally ill. Overall impression of his psychological condition is reported to be that of malingering.”

In a reply to Vinay’s application, Tihar jail authorities told the court that his application is “a bundle of distorted facts”.

Tihar jail officials have submitted CCTV footage to the court, in which Vinay can be seen hitting his head on a wall. Additional public prosecutor Irfan Ahmad told the court that the related medical call made by Vinay on February 16 was false.

“In the call, he spoke about a fall in the bathroom and also complained about pain in his right hand, right side of head, decreased sleep, anxiety and agitation. When authorities perused the CCTV footage installed in barrack, it revealed that the condemned convict struck his head on the wall. It was a self-inflicted injury... Again, the same day at 4.15 pm, Vinay hit his head on the wall. Doctors attended to him and found an abrasion on his forehead,” Ahmad told the court.

Vinay’s lawyer told the court that Tihar jail authorities had “concealed facts from the court since they submitted the report a day after the incident”.

“He had a plaster on his right arm. At least five jail officials had to drag Vinay for his legal meeting. He is able to identify his lawyer and mother over the phone, and not in person,” Singh told the court.

However, after perusing the CCTV footage, the court said, “Convict is seen conversing with his counsel and family members. The apparent tone and tenor of the convict is not suggestive of any abnormal behaviour.”

The court has set the execution of the four convicts in the case — Vinay (26), Pawan Gupta (25), Mukesh Singh (32) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) — at 6 am on March 3.