Dec 16 gan­grape case: Ac­cused claims de­fence wit­nesses de­tained

The Political and Business Daily - - METRO/NCR -

An ac­cused in the De­cem­ber 16 gan­grape and mur­der trial to­day claimed be­fore a spe­cial court here that some de­fence wit­nesses, who were to de­pose in his favour, were be­ing "de­tained il­le­gally" by Bi­har Po­lice.

Ak­shay Thakur moved an ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing di­rec­tion from ad­di­tional ses­sions judge Yo­gesh Khanna that sum­mons be is­sued to the de­fence wit­nesses, na­tives of Bi­har, through his coun­sel A P Singh.

Ak­shay's coun­sel said a wire­less mes­sage be also sent to the SSP, Au­rangabad to en­sure safety of the wit­nesses as they are be­ing il­le­gally de­tained in Tandwa po­lice sta­tion there and are be­ing ha­rassed.

He also sought di­rec­tions to en­sure that po­lice of­fi­cials of his vil­lage do not ob­struct wit­nesses from ap­pear­ing be­fore the court.

Spe­cial pub­lic prose­cu­tor Dayan Kr­ish­nan op­posed the plea say­ing the ac­cused is de­lay­ing the trial as ear­lier also he had falsely pleaded that the de­fence wit­nesses were not get­ting reser­va­tion in any of the trains to Delhi.

Kr­ish­nan sub­mit­ted that his al­le­ga­tion is false and none of the wit­nesses has been de­tained and stopped from de­pos­ing.

"Sum­mons be is­sued for the wit­nesses and be given dasti to A P Singh, ad­vo­cate for ac­cused, so that he could fax the sum­mons to the wit­nesses.

"A wire­less/fax mes­sage may also be sent forth­with by the lock up in­charge of Saket court or by the in­charge Saket court com­plex po­lice sta­tion, New Delhi to the SSP Au­rangabad, stat­ing al­le­ga­tion made by Singh," the judge said.

The court fur­ther asked the SSP to en­sure that the po­lice of­fi­cials of Tandwa, as al­leged, should not come in the way of the ap­pear­ance of the wit­nesses be­fore the court on Au­gust 1.

To prove his in­no­cence, the court had al­lowed Ak­shay to pro­duce five of his fam­ily mem­bers as de­fence wit­nesses.

Dur­ing record­ing of his state­ment, Ak­shay had claimed that he was not in the bus in which the 23-year-old para­medic stu­dent was gan­graped al­legedly by a group of six per­sons.

He had claimed to have left Delhi in a train prior to the sex­ual as­sault of the girl.

"He was at his home town in Bi­har, which can be con­firmed by his fami- ly mem­bers," Ak­shay's coun­sel had said.

Af­ter record­ing of the state­ments of Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Ak­shay and Vi­nay Sharma in the case, the court had asked them to lead wit­nesses in their de­fence.

Ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tion, Ram Singh, Vi­nay, Ak­shay, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh had al­legedly gan­graped the girl in a mov­ing bus here. The vic­tim died of in­juries on De­cem­ber 29 last year while un­der­go­ing treat­ment in a Sin­ga­pore hos­pi­tal.

Dur­ing the trial, Ram Singh was found dead in Ti­har Jail on March 11 and court pro­ceed­ings against him stand abated. The sixth ac­cused, a ju­ve­nile, faced an in­quiry be­fore the ju­ve­nile jus­tice board here.

Dur­ing record­ing of state­ment be­fore the court, Pawan and Vi­nay had claimed that there were not in the bus and had gone to a mu­sic func­tion in south Delhi.

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