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Was forced to have sex with another convict: Nirbhaya case convict Mukesh seeks review of rejection of mercy petition

Mukesh has claimed that he was placed under solitary confinement flouting rules in the Tihar jail and he was 'forced' to have sexual intercourse with Akshay, another convict in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Challenging the dismissal of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17, one of the convicts in Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, Mukesh Singh has now claimed that he was raped in Tihar jail where he has been an inmate since 2013.

Filing a petition in Supreme court seeking judicial review of the rejection of his mercy petition by the President, Mukesh’s counsel Anjana Prakash Tuesday claimed that his client was allegedly raped inside Delhi’s Tihar jail. “Courts only sentenced me to death. Was I sentenced to be raped?” the senior lawyer asked the court on his behalf.

Mukesh’s lawyer claimed that his client was forced to have sexual relations with Akshay, another convict on death row for the heinous gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student.

“I haven’t been able to sleep in 5 years. When I manage to sleep, I dream of death and beating,” the lawyer said on Mukesh Singh’s behalf, submitting to the three-judge bench led by Justice R Banumathi that he has been kept in solitary confinement against the norms. Rules state that a death row inmate will be shifted to solitary confinement after his or her mercy petition gets rejected.

In fact, Mukesh’s lawyer even went as far as to claim that Mukesh’s brother and co-accused in the crime, Ram Singh was murdered in his Tihar jail cell in 2013. For the uninitiated, Ram Singh was the fifth accused in the case at the time and was reportedly driving the bus during the crime on the night of December 8, 2012.

The bench of the Supreme Court has reserved its judgement on plea until tomorrow.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, while rebutting the arguments presented by Mukesh’s lawyer, told the court that allegations that the convict was sexually abused and ill-treated in jail cannot be ground for mercy.

“Even if I assume that there was ill-treatment, it is not a ground for such relief. It is not a luxury jurisdiction that though I’m guilty of this heinous crime since I was ill-treated, I should be given mercy”, Mehta said.  He also stated that further delay in execution will have a dehumanising effect.

Mukesh Singh had moved the mercy petition before the President after the apex court had dismissed his curative petition against his conviction and death sentence. The court had also dismissed the curative petition of another death row convict, Akshay Thakur.

Appearing for Singh, lawyer Anjana Prakash alleged procedural lapses in dealing with his mercy plea by President as he said that all facts were not placed before the President.

Countering these claims Tushar Mehta told the bench that all the records, exhibits and the judgment in the case were placed before the President.

The bench, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna, while reserving its judgement expressed shocked. “How can you say that these facts were not placed before his excellency the President? How can you say that there was non-application of mind by the President,” the bench asked the convict’s lawyer.

The bench is hearing Singh’s plea against the dismissal of his mercy petition by President Ram Nath Kovind on January 17. He has sought an urgent hearing on his plea against the dismissal of the mercy plea.

The trial court has issued black warrants for the execution of all the four convicts – Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay at 6 am on February 1.

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