Defence looking to delay trial in Delhi gangrape case: FTC

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New Delhi, Mar 29: With the fast court track trying the accused in the Delhi gangrape case rejecting their application for the trial to be held every other day instead of daily, the defence counsels who are apparently trying to delay the proceedings will now have to come up with another ploy.

Two of the accused namely Akshay Singh and Mukesh had pleaded for the trial to be conducted on alternate days. They also wanted the statements of 65 prosecution witnesses who have testified before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna so far to be translated into Hindi.

However, the court made it clear that "Even the prayer that the trial be conducted on alternate days or that the matter be adjourned every time to different dates to enable counsel to seek instructions from his clients to cross-examine the witnesses cannot be allowed as per Section 309 [power to postpone or adjourn proceedings] of the Criminal Procedure Code."

The court said that it "does not intend to come in between the counsel and his client to enable him to seek instructions, hence it would be appropriate if the accused are brought to the lock up at Saket at 11 a.m everyday, so that the counsel, if they intend to have a legal meeting with them for seeking instructions, can do so."

The judge expressed annoyance at the continued absence of an advocate ML Sharma who is appearing for Mukesh and Akshay Singh but has surprisingly not attended the hearings over the past few days.

Delhi Rape

"For the last one week, he has not been cross-examining the prosecution witnesses. If he does not want to proceed on his part, we will have to move forward. This is delaying tactics," the judge said.

"Should I refer the matter to (DLSA) Delhi Legal Services Authority to provide counsel to the accused in the case," the judge asked.

Earlier, Mukesh and Akshay Singh withdrew their application for the Hindi translation of the statements.

Officials of Tihar Jail informed the court that they will provide another accused Vinay Sharma the necessary facilities to help him prepare for a recruitment test. Vinay had appealed for "proper tuitions and books" with which he intends to try for the post of group ‘C' civilian lower division clerk in the Air Force.

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