The proceedings in the Delhi gang-rape case were on Thursday adjourned to January 14 for scrutiny of documents filed with the charge sheet after the matter of legal representation of the five accused persons was settled. The court proceedings are being held in-camera and the media has been restrained from reporting them.
Overcoming opposition from many lawyers at Saket court complex, four advocates have come forward to represent the accused in the Delhi gang-rape case. On Monday, just two advocates had come forward to take up the case amid an uproar in the court room.
Advocate V.K. Anand on Thursday said he would represent main accused Ram Singh, while advocate M.L. Sharma said he will represent Ram Singh’s brother, Mukesh. Advocate A.P. Singh will appear for Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh, while the status of the lawyer representing Pawan Kumar is unclear, though advocate Vivek Sharma claimed he was representing him.
For their part, all the lawyers claimed to be very experienced men, though an Internet search did not reveal much about them. Counsel M.L. Sharma was fined Rs. 50,000 in March, 2012 by the Supreme Court for filing a “frivolous” petition alleging conflict of interest against the then Chief Justice of India in the Vodafone tax case.
Counsel V.K. Anand had argued complaints filed by his son, Vibhor Anand, a law student, in the Delhi courts last year seeking lodging of FIRs against Arvind Kejriwal and Baba Ramdev for allegedly making derogatory remarks against parliamentarians, and against lawyer Prashant Bhushan for alleged seditious remarks on Kashmir. The plea for lodging of FIRs was dismissed in November, but the court gave the father-son duo liberty to lead pre-summoning evidence to take forward their complaint.
Counsel A.P. Singh is the All India General Secretary of a party called the “Bhartiya Sampurn Krantikari Party” and claims to also have law offices in Hong Kong. A.P. Singh told reporters that Vinay and Akshay’s mothers had approached his mother and requested her to ask him to take up their case. “When they approached me, I rejected their plea. But then they went and broke down in front of my mother. Upon my mother’s request, I decided to come forward and defend Akshay and Vinay.”
The five accused are facing charges of murder, gang-rape, committing unnatural offences, dacoity and several other charges.
Meanwhile, RTI activist Vivek Garg moved a Tis Hazari special anti-corruption court on Thursday seeking registration of an FIR against the Delhi Transport Minister, the Transport Commissioner, and others alleging that corruption in the department was responsible for the December 16 gang-rape.
Mr. Garg also raised questions on how the bus was allowed to run without permit, how it was issued false fitness certificates and how bus driver Ram Singh obtained a driving licence. The bus owner, Dinesh Yadav, has also been named in the complaint. Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal will take up the matter for hearing on January 14.