Three accused will plead not guilty: Lawyer

Victim

Gangrape Two lawyers say they went to Tihar Jail to get vakalatnamas signed.

A day after they volunteered to represent the five men arrested for the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman who died later in a Singapore hospital, lawyers Manoharlal Sharma and V K Anand both claimed that they would be representing accused Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh.

Sharma said he met Ram Singh in Tihar Jail on Monday night and got a vakalatnama signed. A vakalatnama is a document authorising a lawyer to represent a person in a court of law. He said he had also received vakalatnamas for Mukesh and Akshay Thakur, also accused in the case.

Sharma said Ram Singh "asked me to save his brother" and feared for his own safety in jail.

"I will not let manipulation happen in the case. The three men will plead not guilty. I am sure many things will be revealed once the inquiry and trial begin," Sharma said. A day earlier, he had claimed that "all airtight cases are manipulated".

Advocate V K Anand, who submitted an application on Monday before the Saket court to be "appointed amicus curiae", also claimed to be representing Ram Singh who too asked him to defend his brother.

Anand said he visited the jail on Tuesday morning and received the vakalatnama of Ram Singh and a copy of the chargesheet filed in the case.

"I met Ram Singh this evening in the presence of jail officers and spoke to him for one-and-half hours. He also asked me to help his brother. So I might be representing both brothers eventually though I have met only one," Anand said.

Sources said the family of accused Pawan Gupta, who had previously told the court that he was guilty of a "horrible thing", had engaged a lawyer to represent him.

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