The defence in the Delhi gangrape case alleged before a city court on Monday that Bihar police had detained the family members of Akshay,one of the six accused in the case and was preventing them from testifying in the trial.
Akshay,who hails from Aurangabad in Bihar,had told the court that he had left Delhi for his village a day prior to the gangrape and was not present in the bus,where the gangrape allegedly took place,on the night of the incident. His relatives had been summoned on July 18 by the court to corroborate his alibi. They were scheduled to testify before the court on Monday.
However,A P Singh,defence counsel representing Akshay and co-accused Vinay,told the court that the witnesses could not come to the court since they had been detained by police in Tandva,Akshays village in Aurangabad,Bihar. The witnesses have been harassed and threatened from testifying on Akshays behalf, Singh said. He further submitted an application requesting the judge to provide security arrangements for the witnesses.
The prosecution objected to Singhs allegations stating that it was an attempt to delay the trial. Dayan Krishnan,special public prosecutor in the case,argued that if they had wanted to prevent witnesses from testifying,they would have stopped the other defence witnesses as well,especially since witnesses of all the accused except Akshay hailed from the capital. There is no motive to prevent the defence witnesses from appearing… it in fact helps our case when false witnesses are brought in by the defence, Krishnan told the court.
In reference to Singhs request for additional security,Krishnan submitted,This is a remote and foolish argument… and the application is only a means to stall the trial.
The court has directed that a detailed summons be sent to the witnesses through fax for appearing on August 1. The judge further ordered that a message be sent on wireless to the Senior Superintendent of Police,Aurangabad to ensure that police officers do not prevent the witnesses from appearing in court.
Accused Pawan and Vinay have also claimed alibis and mentioned that they were in a musical function on the night of the incident. On Saturday,a 15-year-old witness had produced a mobile phone that contained a video clip proving the alibi.
The court had recorded the prosecutions observation that the time and date when the video was recorded did not appear on the frame of the clip. Singh submitted an application to the court requesting that the said observation be reversed. The time and date never shows in the frame of the clip… it only appears in the details of the clip, Singh argued. The prosecution shall submit a reply to Singhs objection on August 1.
A 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped aboard a moving bus on December 16 last year and succumbed to her injuries 13 days later at a hospital in Singapore.