New Delhi: An accused in the December 16 gang-rape 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 AP 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 in-charge 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.