Citing interference and pressure from the families of the accused and other lawyers,the advocates representing December 16 gangrape accused Mukesh and Pawan informed the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that they would not be representing the accused any longer.
The court has now summoned the accused before it on Wednesday to determine whether to appoint an amicus curiae to represent them.
Advocate V K Anand informed the court of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani of his decision to withdraw during the hearing on the death sentence reference on Tuesday.
According to public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan,advocate Vivek Sharma,who was representing accused Pawan Gupta,informed the prosecutor over telephone that he was withdrawing from the case.
I wanted to withdraw from the case as certain people are trying to interfere with my work and the court should discharge me from the work, advocate V K Anand said.
He had represented bus driver Mukesh and his brother Ram Singh. On March 11,the body of Ram Singh was found hanging in Tihar jail.
Mukesh and Pawan,along with Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur,were awarded death penalty by a city court last month for the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student aboard a moving bus on December 16.
Delhi High Court is in the process of hearing the death sentence reference as all the accused have not yet filed their appeals. Last week,the court had granted time to Anand and Sharma to file the appeals by the end of the statutory one-month period,which expires on October 13.
Co-accused Vinay and Akshay had filed their appeals through advocate A P Singh on Monday. However,Singh is also facing an inquiry before the Delhi Bar Council which had issued a showcause notice to him for giving statements in the press which were considered against the ethics laid down in the Advocates Act.
The court has now issued production warrants for Mukesh and Pawan,ordering them to appear in court on Wednesday.