December 16 gang-rape: Court asks police to send summons to witness

Delhi Police was directed by court to send summons through "special messenger" to defence witnesses, who are allegedly illegally detained in Bihar, to ensure fair trial in December 16 gang-rape case.

New Delhi: Delhi Police was on Thursday directed by a court here to send summons through "special messenger" to the defence witnesses, who are allegedly illegally detained in Bihar, to ensure fair trial in the December 16 gang-rape case.
Akshay Thakur`s counsel alleged in the court that the witnesses, who were to depose in the accused`s favour, were being "detained illegally" by Bihar Police and the Aurangabad SSP is not revealing the correct fact.

"Though the witnesses are of defence, it is their responsibility to produce them, but in view of the allegation of the counsel for the accused and to ensure fair trial, the accused being in judicial custody and as no one is pursuing his case except his counsel, the witnesses be served through CJM, Aurangabad and also through SSP, Aurangabad.

"Summons be sent through special messenger by Inspector Security, Saket and also by fax," additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna said.

The court also said that the SSP, Aurangabad should send the compliance report of summons to the witnesses by August 6.

The court on July 29 had issued summons through accused`s counsel A P Singh, directing the witnesses to appear today.

It had also directed police to sent a wireless message to the SSP regarding the allegations made by the counsel.

The court had further asked SSP to ensure that the police officials of Tandwa at Aurangabad in Bihar, as alleged, should not come in the way of the appearance of the witnesses before the court. It had also asked reply from the SSP.

However, the SSP in its reply refuted Akshay`s allegation saying it is false and none of his family members who are to depose in the case are detained by the local police there.

The SSP reply was supported by Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan saying the counsel allegation is false and none of the witnesses has been detained and stopped from deposing.

Krishnan also said "there is no reason to disbelieve reply of the SSP. All this attempt is to delay the trial. If the agenda is to delay and delay, the court should not entertain counsel request".

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 gang-raped 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 family members," Akshay`s counsel had said.

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

According to the prosecution, Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh had allegedly gang-raped 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 they were not in the bus and had gone to a music function in south Delhi.

However, accused Mukesh during his deposition had told the court that he was driving the bus in which the girl was sexually assaulted and her male friend was brutally attacked by his elder brother Ram Singh, Vinay, Pawan, Akshay and the juvenile.

PTI

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