Nilanjana Ganguly

“How can you say there was non-application of mind by the President”: SC tells Delhi gang-rape convict

Nilanjana Ganguly 28 Jan 2020 5:52pm

“How can you say there was non-application of mind by the President”: SC tells Delhi gang-rape convict

New Delhi: One of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case was challenged by the Supreme Court on Tuesday i.e. 28.01.2020 as to how the President could suspect "non-application of mind" in refusing his mercy petition.

A 3-judge bench headed by Justice R Banumathi asked senior lawyer Anjana Prakash, who appeared for Mukesh Kumar Singh, how they could say that all the facts in the case were not brought before the President when he dealt with the plea for mercy.

Mukesh's lawyer said on his behalf that the “court had sentenced me to death ... but was I also punished for being raped?”  The lawyer told the court that Mukesh was insulted while watching everyone in jail. He was beaten severely from day one. He was forced to have a physical relationship with Akshay. Mukesh's lawyer further said on his behalf that Ram Singh who was one of the convicts in the case was murdered in jail but the case was closed as a suicide.

"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, also comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and A S Bopanna, asked the lawyer.

When the counsel for the defendant said all the details had not been put before the President, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that all the documents, exhibits and judgments in the case had been placed before the President. Singh alleged the President to have procedural lapses in denying his plea for mercy.

The lawyers of Mukesh Singh also argued that he had been sent to solitary confinement even before his petition of mercy was refused, which was a breach of the norms and the humiliation to which he had been subject. He said that while considering his plea for mercy, other supervening conditions, including solitary confinement and procedural lapses, were overlooked.

His counsel argued that the executive is not sitting on appeal power but exercising constitutional duty, which is neither mercy nor grace. Prakash referred to death sentence decisions and the President's right to offer mercy.

He also told the court that the rejection of the plea for mercy by the President was on alien consideration as well as being mala fide, arbitrary and without material.

Tagged: #supremecourt #nirbhaya #rapecase #india  
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