December 16 gang-rape: Records given by police not readable, convicts tells HC

Two of the four death row convicts in December 16 gang-rape case claimed in Delhi High Court that the Hindi translation of the judgement and other trial records given by the police are not readable.

PTI| Updated: Dec 02, 2013, 19:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Two of the four death row convicts in the December 16 gang-rape case on Monday claimed in the Delhi High Court that the Hindi translation of the judgement and other trial records given by the police are not readable and sought time to approach the Supreme Court on the issue.
A bench of Justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani gave a week`s time to convicts, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh, to approach the apex court.

The prosecution had supplied Hindi translations to the convicts on the direction of the Supreme Court in November after Pawan and Mukesh had approached it following High Court`s refusal.

Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Delhi Police, however, opposed the defence`s move today saying "as per the high court rule itself, death references should be heard on day-to-day basis in the interest of the convicts...".

"As per the Supreme Court direction, we have (police) provided the translated copy to the defence counsel for each of the convicts and also to the convicts at Tihar jail," Krishnan said.

He said that the high court has asked them to file an objection, if they think it appropriate.

"He (the counsel for Pawan and Mukesh) did not make any objection. Now he needs one week more time...," the prosecutor said.

Krishnan also said that the defence counsel was just trying to stall the proceedings.

However, advocate M L Sharma for Pawan and Mukesh opposed the prosecution`s claim and said the police has not provided the proper translation of the documents.

"The translation is done through Google. Therefore, the contents are not readable. It is not done in proper manner, so I will go to the Supreme Court to take proper direction," Sharma said.

During the proceedings, advocate A P Singh, appearing for convicts Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma, sought time to "interview his client" once again for the last time so that he can argue the appeal properly.

Agreeing to Singh`s submission, the bench asked him to argue the matter on behalf of Akshay and Vinay on December 5.

The court is hearing final arguments on the trial court`s reference to it for confirmation of death sentences awarded to the four convicts.

Last week, the prosecution had supplied the Hindi translation of the trial court documents to all four convicts.

The apex court had also asked the high court not to rush through with the hearing of the death reference and appeals in the December 16 gang-rape and murder case of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus here.

Vinay, Akshay, Pawan and Mukesh were sentenced to death by a trial court in September. The woman succumbed to her injuries on December 29 in Singapore`s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.