Defence lawyers quarrel in courthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/defence-lawyers-quarrel-in-court/

Defence lawyers quarrel in court

TRIAL: Slanging match begins after one accused contradicts another during hearing

Defence lawyers of the accused in the December 16 gangrape case traded charges and shouted at each other on Monday after Vinay,one of the accused,claimed he was innocent and contradicted an earlier statement by co-accused Mukesh.

At the fast track court in Saket where the case is being heard,Vinay claimed he was at a musical programme at the time of the incident and prior to that,he had entered into a fight with Ram Singh — the prime accused who was found dead in his Tihar Jail cell in March this year — for passing obscene remarks about his sister.

Vinay’s counsel A P Singh asked the court to record this statement. But V K Anand,counsel for Mukesh — Ram Singh’s brother — spoke against recording of such statement.

This had the lawyers quarreling before Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Yogesh Khanna. Adding fuel to fire,Vinay told the judge that Anand had asked his family to appoint him as lawyer,otherwise he was sure to hang. To this,Anand claimed that Vivek Sharma (counsel representing co-accused Pawan) had tried to snatch his client.

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The judge and the prosecution counsel tried to calm the defence lawyers but did not make much headway. Angered by the exchange,Anand told the court that he would produce Mukesh as a defence witness in the case.

Mukesh had claimed earlier that he was only driving the bus at the time of the incident and that the other five accused were present in the rear of the bus where the gangrape allegedly took place.

“I have two sisters at home… How can I be involved in something like this?” Vinay said in court,doing a U-turn from his earlier stand in court where he had confessed to the crime and sought a death sentence.

A 23-year-old paramedic student,gangraped in the moving bus on December 16,died in a Singapore hospital thirteen days later. The police apprehended six persons accused in the case — Ram Singh,Mukesh (Ram Singh’s brother),Akshay (helper in the bus),Vinay,Pawan and a minor who is being tried by the Juvenile Justice Board.

Proceedings against Ram Singh have abated after he was found dead in his Tihar cell on March 11.

The verdict by the Juvenile Justice Board is likely to be released on July 25.