The prosecution in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case on Monday alleged that defence counsel of two of the accused was employing delaying tactics to prolong the trial.

Counsel M.L. Sharma, appearing for Mukesh and Akshay Singh, claimed that his clients were being denied a fair trial and moved an application demanding that he be allowed adequate time to sit with his clients before he undertook the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses.

He also alleged that his clients were yet to receive the Hindi translation of the charge sheet and had no clear idea about the case against them because of the language barrier.

Reacting to these allegations, special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan alleged that Mr. Sharma was attempting to delay the trial. “The right of accused persons is of paramount importance. But this cannot be a ruse to delay the trial.”

Mr. Krishnan said that before defence counsel started appearing in the case, 60 prosecution witnesses were examined and all the accused were given ample opportunities to cross-examine them.

He alleged that defence counsel was not arriving on time for proceedings and was seeking unnecessary adjournments. For the past two days, Mr. Sharma has refrained from cross-examining three minor witnesses, saying he had just accepted the case and needed more time for preparation.

Mr. Sharma also nearly got into trouble when counsel for another of the accused, Vinay Sharma, vociferously objected to him talking to his client about the death penalty.

“Why is he talking to my client about the noose? He is unnecessarily telling things to the accused,” said counsel A.P. Singh.

The prosecution opposed the bail application moved by accused Vinay Sharma, saying he could abscond or tamper with evidence. The prosecution rejected his argument that his studies was getting affected, arguing that while in judicial custody he has enough time to study.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna will hear arguments on various applications moved by the defence on Tuesday. No witnesses will be examined.

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