Delhi gang-rape: Three accused to plead not guilty, says lawyer



Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Three of the five accused in the horrific gang-rape of a paramedical student in the city will plead not guilty to the charges levied against them, their lawyer ML Sharma said on Tuesday, as per reports.

Advocate Sharma, who is defending Mukesh Singh, his brother Ram Singh and Akshay Kumar Singh alias Thakur said that they will plead not guilty to all charges and claim trial, as per news agency report.

Another advocate VK Anand, who had also showed up in the court wanting to be an amicus curiae, has also been engaged by the Ram Singh.

"They will plead not guilty to the charges levelled against them in the charge sheet. They want to face the trial," said Sharma and Anand echoed a similar stand.

Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal had yesterday posted the matter for Jan 10 after ordering that proceedings will be held in camera and media should not report them. A senior Tihar jail official said the accused were illiterate undertrial prisoners. "Generally in a sensational case, many advocates come forward to represent the accused. Being illiterate and already scared, the accused might have signed even more than two advocates. It is an issue between the advocate and the prisoner," he said.

Sharma claimed that he was approached by the family of the prime accused Ram Singh, Mukesh and Akshay, who have signed him to defend them. Anand maintained he would be defending Ram Singh.

He said he had yesterday also met the accused in the Tihar jail but could not get the vakalatnama signed.

Sharma said, this morning, the accused themselves asked himto represent them in the court.

He refused to take the case for the other two accused-- Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma--saying, "Gupta's father had visited him in Tihar. Since one of their relatives is also a practising advocate, he would be representing him."

The five accused, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur have been charge sheeted for the offences of murder, gang-rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.

While the chargesheet describes the role of the juvenile accused, the police has not named him in it because of his age. A separate chargesheet will be filed against him after ascertaining his age.

The result of bone age test of the juvenile, who the police said was the most aggressive of the six accused in the crime, is awaited.

Two of the six accused on Sunday expressed the wish to turn into state witnesses. Vinay Sharma, a gym instructor, and Pawan Gupta, a fruit-seller, had confessed to their crime when brought before the court on December 19.

The two said they wanted to be witnesses in the case and refused to take the service of a legal aid counsel.

The six are accused of raping and brutally beating a physiotherapy intern in a moving bus in Delhi on the night of December 16. The victim died in a Singapore hospital December 29.

(With Agencies Inputs)