Making final arguments in the December 16 gangrape trial,the defence,in what seemed another bid to prolong the trial,alleged that 25 minutes in the bus were too less for six men to rape,assault and dump the victim on the road. The trial in the December 16 gangrape case entered its 198th day at a fast-track court on Monday.
According to the chargesheet,the accused had initially fought with the victims friend. Once the victim interfered,they pulled her to the back of the bus and five of them raped her.
Thereafter,the driver of the bus exchanged his seat with another accused,raped the victim and assaulted her friend. The accused then tried to push the victim and her friend through the rear door of the bus. When the rear door wouldn’t open,they dragged both of them to the front door and threw them out.
Referring to the timeframe given by the prosecution and the CCTV footage of the bus,the defence lawyer told the court that though the victim and her friend had been on the bus for 33 minutes,the ordeal had lasted for 25 minutes. The entire crime could not have been accomplished in the timeframe given by the prosecution, Vivek Sharma,counsel representing accused Pawan,said. Rods were allegedly inserted into her body… that also would have taken some time, he said.
The prosecution had earlier concluded its arguments in the case,relying primarily on three statements given by the victim to police,a sub-divisional magistrate and a metropolitan magistrate before she succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Singapore.
The victims statement specifically mentions the names of the accused,which as argued by the prosecution,she overheard while being raped and assaulted.
The last statement was given by the victim to a metropolitan magistrate through gestures and responses to a multiple-choice questionnaire. The authenticity of this statement was called into question by Sharma.
What do you mean by gestured yes?.., Sharma asked,pointing to the declaration which mentions that she said yes to a question,…according to medical reports,a tube was inserted into her larynx,so there was no possibility of her having nodded.
Sharma also alleged that the prosecution had not been able to prove that the accused were involved in a conspiracy to rape and murder the victim. The victims friend has given six statements till date and in all of them he has been consistently inconsistent, Sharma said,alleging that his testimony had been fabricated to fill up the lacunae in the prosecutions case.
Defence arguments shall continue on Tuesday. The verdict is expected mid-September.