December 16 gang-rape case: Two convicts appear in Delhi HC
New Delhi: Two convicts in the December 16 gang-rape case on Thursday appeared before the Delhi High Court after it summoned them to put forward their submissions.
A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani told convicts Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur that their counsel have completed his arguments and asked them if they wanted to say anything more to the court.
Both of them told the court that they have put their defence through their counsel and they have nothing more to say. However, Vinay asked the court to see the video footage where he with another convict Pawan Gupta was seen attending a music concert on the night of December 16.
The bench said that video footage has already been shown by counsel and the judges have seen the video.
The court had issued warrants for Vinay and Akshay and sought their presence in court to give them a chance to put their submissions. Their counsel could not turn up in the court.
The court on January 03 reserved its verdict on confirming the death sentence and appeals of four convicts in the December 16 gang-rape and murder case.
The bench had reserved its order after prosecution and defence counsel concluded their arguments.
The court on Wednesday also asked defence counsel for convicts Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur to file their written submissions by January 15, and again reserved the order.
"If they (counsel) want to give anything in writing, they can do so by January 15. Order reserved," the bench said.
The high court started hearing the case on November 01, 2013, on a daily basis.
The prosecution wrapped up its arguments in the first week of November, seeking confirmation of the death penalty.
Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan earlier told the court that by awarding death penalty to the convicts, a message would be sent out to the society that "deviant behaviour" would not be tolerated.
He also argued that all the convicts had conspired to rob and rape the physiotherapist intern on December 16 night in 2012.
Defence counsel, however, said their clients were falsely implicated in the case and that the dying declaration by the woman was "fake" and "fabricated".
Counsel also told the court that police did not follow the proper procedure while arresting the four on the basis of media reports, and without having any evidence in hand.
The 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was brutally raped by the gang of six men, including a juvenile, in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012.
The six then threw the woman and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing and severely injured, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.
The woman died of grave intestinal injuries on December 29, 2012, at Singapore`s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was air-lifted for specialised treatment.
One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi`s Tihar Jail. The juvenile involved in the crime was sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.
A trial court on September 13 awarded death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20. The court referred the case to the high court for confirmation of the sentence.
The chargesheet was filed on January 03, 2013.
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