For, interview was telecast after chargesheet was filed in the case

The Supreme Court on Friday set aside a Delhi High Court order allowing the plea of an accused in the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape case to use as evidence a CD containing the interview of the victim’s friend.

A Bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and Justices M.Y. Eqbal and Vikramajit Sen had on March 22 stayed the March 7 order after the Delhi Police submitted that the interview was inadmissible as evidence.

The High Court had accepted the contention of Ram Singh, who died in the Tihar jail, and his brother Mukesh and set aside the trial court order by which they were not allowed to exhibit the CD of the interview telecast on January 4.

On Friday, the Bench, after hearing Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the Delhi government, allowed the appeal. The court said that since the interview was telecast after the charge sheet was filed, it could not be used as evidence under law.

Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh are the adult accused facing trial. The sixth accused, who has been declared as a juvenile, is facing trial before the Juvenile Justice Board.

In its appeal, the Delhi government said that the High Court had allowed the interview to be used as a previous statement though it was recorded after the statement of the complainant ( an eyewitness to the crime) was recorded under Section 164 Cr.PC, investigation was concluded and the charge sheet filed.

It said the High Court had erred in not noticing the dangers of allowing media interviews as evidence in a criminal trial, especially when such interviews were taken after the charge sheet was filed.

Such a practice would have a direct effect on the administration of the criminal justice system as it would lead to erosion of the sanctity of the trial and would result in undue interference in criminal justice process, the Delhi government said, and prayed for quashing the High Court directions.

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