I can’t get fair trial in surcharged Delhi, accused tells SC

A woman walks past a makeshift memorial of gang-rape victim, at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Expressing an apprehension that he may not get a fair trial if the December 16 gang rape case is conducted in Delhi, one of the accused on Saturday moved the Supreme Court for shifting the case to any other State, preferably Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The trial is to begin in the Saket court on Monday.

Counsel M.L. Sharma, in Mukesh’s transfer petition, traced the sequence of events from the day the rape occurred in a moving bus in the capital and the subsequent public outrage to argue that the atmosphere in Delhi was so surcharged it was not a conducive venue for a fair trial.

The petitioner said he was arrested from his Rajasthan village, Karoli, on December 18 and his confession was obtained under torture. On January 7, when he, along with the co-accused, was produced before the magistrate court at Saket, Mr. Sharma declared his willingness to defend all the five persons. However, all other advocates protested and created a scene and were about to thrash Mr. Sharma right in the courtroom. However, police presence averted any such incident.

Counsel requested the magistrate to allow him to meet Mukesh but the plea was declined and he was asked to meet the accused in the Tihar jail.

Subsequently on January 17, counsel pleaded for extra security to Mukesh as he apprehended encounter killing. That request was also refused.

In other complaints, the petitioner said a copy of the charge sheet and documents were yet to be supplied to him and even the First Information Report was not at all readable. In the name of fast-tracking justice and under public pressure, judicial proceedings/criminal trial “will start from January 21.”

He said that since December 17 public agitations had been held regularly in the capital and political pressure was being mounted on the police to hang the accused by declaring them culprits without giving them proper trial in a conducive atmosphere. Party leaders and even judicial officers were bound by deep sentiments thanks to the hue and cry witnessed in Delhi.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 9:59:33 AM |

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