A Delhi court on Saturday allowed the accused in the December 16 gang-rape case to bring two more witnesses in their defence and fixed August 22 for start of hearing the final arguments in the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, while fixing the date for final arguments in the case, directed the counsel for accused Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta to close their evidence on Monday without making any “delay or excuses.”

“I am fixing Thursday (August 22) for final arguments, so now conclude your (accused) evidence before it,” the judge said, adding that no further chance will be given to them.

The court’s order came on an application filed by Vinay, who sought to call three new witnesses to establish that the prosecution witnesses, whose statements were recorded by the court, were “false” and were “tutored.”

Vinay’s counsel had said that the prosecution was allowed to bring their witnesses during recording of defence witness’ testimonies.

“If they were allowed to bring new witnesses, we should also be given an opportunity to produce our witness in the interest of justice and fair trial on behalf of the accused,” the counsel added.

Counsel for Pawan Gupta had also sought the court’s direction to bring one witness as he could not depose earlier because his son-in-law had died at that time.

The court had already concluded recording statements of the defence witnesses in the case, but it observed that the accused should be given a last chance in the interest of justice and for a fair trial.

The court, while allowing two defence witnesses, said “this is the last opportunity for you (Vinay and Pawan) to close your defence evidence in the case.”

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