Three men accused of raping an American woman in Delhi’s Park Hotel in April last year were granted bail by a sessions court Wednesday. Additional Sessions Judge Anu Grover Baliga observed that since the woman is in the US, there is no threat of the accused influencing her once they are out.
The court issued bail to tourist guide Anirudh, driver Om Prakash and cleaner Maqsood Khan.
The day also saw lawyers being questioned for their handling of the case. The case had hinged upon analysis of evidence of the alleged act, such as the hard disk in which CCTV camera footage is stored and mobile phones of the accused. These were analysed by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad, but videos of the alleged rape could not be retrieved.
The woman’s lawyer had requested a probe into any external memory card that may have been there in the accused’s phone, saying that a slot for such a card was vacant in the phone.
Judge Baliga Wednesday pulled up Anirudh’s lawyer for submitting in the previous hearing that even if something were to be recorded in the external memory card, an analysis of the internal memory card will be sufficient to retrieve it. “Don’t try to mislead the court. You had said that whatever goes to the external memory card goes through internal memory card, (but) it is not so. I found that it is possible to store things in external card directly, which cannot be retrieved by analysis of internal memory card alone,” said the sessions judge.
The judge also told the woman’s lawyer. “You claimed there is technology available abroad (to retrieve the footage), but now you are feigning ignorance about what technology that is, and which laboratory has it,” said the judge. This happened after the woman’s lawyer submitted that he does not have the technical know-how to suggest a laboratory or inform the court which technology could be used.
The court will continue hearing the case on July 4.