Additional Sessions Judge of the Patiala House Court dismissed the plea to refer Nirbhaya convict Vinay Sharma to a hospital to seek treatment for his alleged mental illness. The Court had earlier ordered the Tihar Jail Superintendent to file his report in this regard after Vinay’s counsel, Advocate AP Singh told the Court that during a meeting with Vinay in Jail, the convict had failed to recognise even his own mother as well as his counsel.
The Court ultimately ruled,
“General anxiety and depression in case of a death row convict is obvious. In the case at hand, evidently adequate medical treatment and psychological help has been provided to the condemned convict. In these circumstances, I do not find any occasion to refer the convict to IBHAS or any other hospital at this stage. The application is accordingly dismissed for want of merits.”
ASJ Dharmender Rana
Facts of the case
The Patiala House Court in Delhi on Saturday dismissed Nirbhaya rape and murder case convict Vinay Sharma’s plea for medical treatment. Vinay Sharma, one of the four death-row convicts in Nirbhaya case, had filed a plea, seeking better treatment for his claimed “mental illness, schizophrenia and head and arm injuries”. Dismissing Nirbhaya case convict Vinay Sharma’s plea for medical treatment, the Delhi court also asked the Tihar authorities to ensure adequate medical care to all the convicts. The court also observed that Vinay Sharma’s mental condition is fine, according to the jail officials, and that the death row convict does not need medical treatment. During arguments before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana on Saturday, his counsel AP Singh argued that Vinay “had been unable to recognise his own mother” during her visit to the jail earlier this week due to “mental illness.”The court, however, took note of the medical reports filed by the medical officers at Tihar Jail, including the Psychiatrist, who said that “no objective signs of psychological distress were observed”.”The convict desires himself to be falsely diagnosed. General anxiety and depression in a case or a death row convicts are obvious,” the court noted. “It is specifically reported that the convict was asking the specialist psychiatry for legally favouring the convict by diagnosing him mentally ill for helping him to commute his death sentence. On mental status examination, the convict was found to have dramatic and superficial demonstration of mental illness,” the court said. “No objective signs of psychological distress were observed. The convict desires himself to be falsely diagnosed ‘mentally ill’,” the court observed.
Just two days ago, Vinay Sharma had injured himself by banging his head against a wall of his cell in Tihar Jail. The incident happened in jail number 3 on Sunday afternoon. He got some minor injuries and was treated inside the prison premises, the jail officials said. According to prison officials, Vinay had briefly stopped eating. “He is irritable in nature and acts differently from the other three convicts. His nature is different from the other three,” they said.”Vinay Sharma got hurt inside his cell after he banged his head against a wall on Sunday afternoon. While he was at it, security personnel saw him, stooped him immediately and called the doctors,” a senior jail official said. The Tihar Jail authorities had then told Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana that CCTV footage established that the convict, Vinay Kumar Sharma, had inflicted “superficial” injuries on himself and was not suffering from any psychological disorder.
“It is specifically reported that the convict was asking the specialist psychiatry for legally favoring the convict by diagnosing him mentally ill for helping him to commute his death sentence.”
ASJ Dharmender Rana
The Arguments in the Court
The prosecutor listed all the possible legal remedies available to the convicts. He referred to the order of the Supreme Court that no petition pending before it has any bearing on the execution proceedings pending before the trial court. Mentioning that no petition of any convict was pending before the SC and the President of India, he also cited the Delhi High Court order that mandated the rapists to exhaust their legal remedies by February 12. On the other hand, the counsel for convict Pawan revealed that a curative petition would be filed before the SC in the next few days. Moreover, AP Singh- the counsel for convict Akshay said that his parents had filed an incomplete mercy plea. Therefore, he stated that Akshay wanted to file an elaborate mercy plea. At this juncture, Vrinda Grover informed the court that Mukesh did not want her as the counsel. AP Singh added that his client Vinay was on a hunger strike since February 11 and was not in a mentally fit condition. The court directed the jail Superintendent to take care of the convict as per rules.
A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. Out of the six convicts, one reportedly committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court’s verdict in 2017.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje