Two of the four death row convicts in the December 16 gangrape case, who are also facing trial for allegedly robbing a carpenter on the same day, claimed before a Delhi court on Saturday that they “don’t know” about the incident and that they hadn’t robbed the carpenter.
According to police, the carpenter, Ram Adhar, was lured into the bus and robbed by six persons, including a juvenile, before they gangraped a 23-year-old girl aboard the moving bus. The gangrape victim died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.
The court had, meanwhile, abated charges against the main accused Ram Singh who was found dead in his cell in Tihar jail on March 11.
Appearing as a prosecution witness, Ram Adhar had identified the four accused — Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh — as those who had robbed and assaulted him on the night of December 16, 2012.
However, accused Pawan, who on Saturday recorded his statement before Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash, said he was not in the bus in which the alleged incident had taken place.
Instead, he claimed that he, along with co-accused Vinay, had gone to a music function organised by the Church in the DDA district park, South Delhi.
“On December 16, 2012, at 8.30 pm, I along with Vinay and his family and friends, went to a musical programme organised by a church….,” Pawan said, adding he was picked from his fruit shop and forcibly taken to the police station. Pawan also claimed that when he was detained, he was a juvenile.
He alleged that police had detained him illegally and tortured him in custody.
He further deposed that he saw the complainant, Ram Adhar, for the first time at the police station.
Mukesh, whose statement was recorded Saturday, also took the plea of alibi, stating that he was not in the bus and that police had arrested him from his hometown in Rajasthan.
“On December 16, 2012, I was not in the bus. This is a concocted case prepared by the prosecution at the behest of police. I was shown to Ram Adhar at the police station by police,” Mukesh said, adding that he was falsely implicated.
The court concluded recording of the statement of the accused and fixed the matter for April 4, while for a list of defence witnesses.
During the trial, the court had recorded the statements of 37 prosecution witnesses, including the carpenter.
The court has put them on trial for the offences under relevant sections of the IPC, including Sections 395 (dacoity) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person).
Police, in its 15-page chargesheet filed on March 15, last year, had said bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay, along with the juvenile, had snatched the 35-year-old carpenter’s mobile phone and Rs 1,500 after luring him into the bus.
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