The arguments for the defence in the death sentence reference for the December 16 gangrape convicts were started by advocate M L Sharma on Tuesday. Sharma claimed that Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta were denied a fair trial as they were tortured in jail and forced to accept a lawyer that they did not want during the trial.
The Constitution gives the right to appoint an advocate of his choice to every accused,but Mukesh had filed an affidavit before the High Court in April this year informing the court that he had been tortured in jail and told to change his lawyer, Sharma said before the court of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Sunita Rani.
The lawyer also alleged that police had arrested Mukesh without any evidence and without following due procedure. He was arrested from Karoli but was not brought before a magistrate there. He was taken before a court two days later in Delhi, Sharma said. He alleged that an amicus curiae had been appointed against the wishes of his clients.
Four of the six men convicted of the rape and murder of a 23-year-old student in a moving bus on December 16 last year are facing proceedings for confirmation of their death sentence before the High Court. Bus driver Ram Singh was found hanging in jail during the trial,while the sixth accused,a juvenile,was sentenced to three years in jail by the Juvenile Justice Board.
The court has been hearing arguments on the appeal filed against conviction and the death sentence reference sent by the trial court.