New Delhi, Jan 10: The lawyer defending three of the accused in the Delhi gangrape-cum-murder case has laid the entire blame for the Dec 16 incident on the victim's male companion.
ML Sharma told Bloomberg that the 23-year-old paramedical student's friend was "wholly responsible" for the savage attack on her. "Until today, I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady. Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect," Sharma said.
While making the above statement, the lawyer surprisingly did not even pause to think that he was casting aspersions on the victim. In his professional capacity, he might be entitled to claim that his clients are innocent. However, Sharma cannot be unaware that it is unethical to defame the deceased.
The lawyer was more in his elements when he alleged that the accused had been subjected to brutality. AFP quoted Sharma as saying that "All the accused have been badly beaten by the police and they have used the third degree to extract the statement that suits the evidence they have collected."
He even claimed, "My clients have been forced to confess to crimes that they did not commit." He was referring to the five men who have been charged with not only raping the paramedical student in a moving bus but also brutally attacking her with a rod on that fateful night. The victim succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on Dec 29, 2012.
Sharma is representing the bus driver Ram Singh, the bus cleaner Akshay and Ram Singh's brother Mukesh. Reports say all three will plead not guilty to the charges levelled against them under sections 302, 307, 376(2)(g), 377, 395, 394, 396, 201, 120-B, 412 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
The trio's accomplices Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma have already expressed a desire to turn witness in the case.
The sixth accused will shortly appear before the Juvenile Justice Board as he is supposedly still some months away from attaining the age of 18. Investigators are not convinced by the date of birth mentioned in his school leaving certificate. They have asked the school's principal to clarify. Bone density tests may also be held to find out if he is indeed a minor.
Incidentally, the teenager underwent surgery at the Lok Nayak Hospital here some days ago as he had developed acute appendicitis. At first, the doctors attending on him did not know their patient's identity. They realised it after the court asked for his fitness certificate.