A Delhi court on Thursday sought a response from Tihar jail authorities on the plea filed by a convict in the 2012 gangrape and murder case asking for "high level treatment" for mental illness, insanity, and schizophrenia, and injuries to his head and arms. Vinay Kumar Sharma, one of four convicts, has exhausted all the legal remedies available to challenge the death sentence in the case scheduled for 3 March.
During hearing of applications moved by the parents of the victim and the Delhi government, seeking fresh death warrants for the four convicts, the convict's lawyer told the court that Sharma is suffering from acute mental illness, hence the death sentence cannot be carried out. During a hearing on Monday, the lawyer also said that Sharma was on a hunger strike.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana directed the prison authorities to file its reply on the plea by Sharma on Saturday. According to prison officials, Sharma injured himself by banging his head on his cell wall in Tihar Jail.
The incident happened in jail number 3 on Sunday afternoon, they said, adding that he got some minor injuries and was treated inside the prison premises. During the hearing, the prosecution opposed the plea saying it was not maintainable.
Counsel for Sharma told the court that he was refusing to recognise people, including his mother. The plea claimed that when Sharma's counsel visited him in the prison on the request of his family members, he found that he had sustained grievous head injury, fracture in his right arm with plaster and was suffering from "insanity", "mental illness" and "schizophrenia".
Sharma could not identify his counsel and his mother in jail, it said. The petition further claimed that he was having "decreased sleep" for a long time and was referred to senior psychiatrist in view of drug dependence.
On 13 February, Sharma's lawyer submitted to the Supreme Court that President Ram Nath Kovind had not taken into account the "mental instability" Sharma faced "due to torture in jail", when he rejected the convict's mercy petition, NDTV reported.
According to the report, the counsel said that all the relevant records, including the one regarding his mental illness, hadn't been submitted to the President. However, the Centre submitted a medical report from 12 February to prove that Sharma wasn't suffering any mental illness.
Twenty six-year-old Sharma, who is one of the youngest convicts, is "most anxious and is often seen walking restlessly in his cell", PTI quoted jail authorities as saying in January. The death warrant issued for 3 March is the third time warrants have been issued against the convicts.
Sharma has also received the maximum punishment for violating rules in jail. He has received 11 punishments. The punishment could range from curtailing visiting rights from their families as penalty for a small fight to changing the barracks for a more serious fight, the report said.
In 2015, Sharma took admission in a one-year bachelor's degree program which he didn't complete.
The court had on 17 February issued fresh death warrants for 3 March at 6 am against the four death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case. It had issued fresh warrants against death row convicts — Mukesh Kumar Singh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay (26) and Akshay Kumar (31).
This is the third time that death warrants have been issued against them.
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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2020 20:04:25 IST