Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer who represented one of the rapists in 2012 Delhi gang rape victim Nirbhaya (name changed) case has moved the Supreme Court accusing that Samajwadi Party MP and actor Jaya Bachchan and Delhi Commission of Women for ‘provoking’ the Hyderabad encounter. On 6th December, when the Telangana Police had taken the four accused in the horrific Hyderabad rape and murder case, the four accused allegedly tried to escape following which an encounter took place and the police killed all four.
The encounter generated mixed response where Nirbhaya’s parents hailed the actions of Telangana Police. While parents of the 2012 Delhi rape victim Nirbhaya hailed the actions of Telangana Police, Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer who represented the rapists has now alleged that the killings took place in police custody ‘on the behest of political leaders and media outrage’. He alleged that the killings took place due to ‘political demand by political leaders’ (Jaya Bachchan, Swati Maliwal and others) and because there was a ‘media trial’ with a ‘hue and cry’ to execute them immediately. Jaya Bachchan, while speaking in the Parliament on the Telangana case, had rooted for public lynching of the rapists.
Sharma has also sought the apex court appoints and monitors special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the encounter. He also wants a gag order on the media to not hold any tv debates till the accused in the rape and murder are held guilty.
Other than Sharma, two other advocates have also approached the Supreme Court with their petitions seeking probe into the matter. They alleged that the Hyderabad police have violated the Supreme Court’s guidelines on encounters. Similarly, lawyers in Mumbai have also filed a petition before the Chief Justice of India, Telangana High Court, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and DGP Telangana demanding registration of an FIR against police personnel for killing four accused in rape and killing of a woman veterinary doctor, during an encounter that took place earlier in the day.
Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma defended one of the persons accused in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case. During the case, he had made several bizarre comments as a defence lawyer. He had said that the entire incident was planned by a politician, and the male friend of Nirbhaya who was with her on a fateful day was an accomplice. He had argued that no man can have sex with another woman unless he gets excited. And without the cooperation of the woman, he can’t get excited, essentially saying that all rape charges are fake.
On 16th December, 2012, their daughter was brutally gang-raped in national capital. She later succumbed to her injuries. Seven years on, four of the six accused are sentenced to death where one of the accused has filed for mercy petition with the President. One of the accused, reportedly committed suicide in prison while one of the accused was a juvenile and is now roaming free after having served his time in juvenile prison.