December 16 gang-rape: Convicts lose right to lead evidence in robbery case
A Delhi court has closed the right of the four death row convicts of the sensational December 16 gangrape case to lead further evidence in their defence in a robbery case in which they are facing trial, after they failed to bring any witness in six hearings.
New Delhi: A Delhi court has closed the right of the four death row convicts of the sensational December 16 gangrape case to lead further evidence in their defence in a robbery case in which they are facing trial, after they failed to bring any witness in six hearings.
"For the past six consecutive dates no witness has been brought by the accused persons in their defence. In these facts and circumstances, I close their right to lead further defence evidence. List the matter for final arguments on July 14," Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh said.
The trial court had awarded death penalty to four convicts - Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh - in the gangrape and murder case which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. There appeals are pending before the Supreme Court.
In the robbery case, Delhi police has alleged that before gangraping the 23-year-old girl in the moving bus here on the night of December 16, 2012, the accused had lured a carpenter, Ram Adhar, into the vehicle and robbed him.
The gangrape victim had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.
In its order, the court noted that accused Akshay Thakur had closed his defence evidence in the robbery case way back in May last year but after that, the remaining co-accused had failed to bring any witnesses in their defence during the last six hearings.
The four accused facing trial in the robbery case had earlier claimed that they had not robbed or assaulted the complainant.
Ram Adhar had identified in the court the four accused as those who had robbed and assaulted him on December 16, 2012 night.
During trial in the robbery case, the court had recorded statements of 37 prosecution witnesses, including the carpenter.