Delhi rape accused claim coffin didn't contain victim's body

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New Delhi, April 2: Two accused in the Delhi gangrape case have averred that the coffin did not carry the victim's mortal remains when it was brought here from Singapore by a special flight on Dec 29, 2012. However, an Air India official rejected their outrageous claim on Tuesday.

Testifying before the Fast Track Court that is hearing the case, the official said: "It is wrong to suggest that instead of human remains, some other things were loaded in the box (coffin). The coffin was in sealed condition, and in my presence no one has opened it."

The coffin was unloaded on Dec 29 at the cargo terminal in the Indira Gandhi International Airport where the official works. When the counsel of Mukesh and Akshay Singh asked on Tuesday what exactly were the contents of the coffin, he replied: "As per the documents, the coffin carried human remains. The weight of the box was 140 kg, a consolidated weight of the coffin and the human remains."

The defence counsel then demanded to know why an X-ray machine was not used to check the coffin. The official who is appearing on behalf of the prosecution told the court that such a machine was not available at the bay.

He said that the victim's father and the Delhi Police received the coffin following a thorough check of documents such as the embalming certificate, the death certificate issued by the authorities in Singapore and an accompanying letter from the Indian mission in the South East Asian country.

Afterwards the coffin was loaded onto an ambulance, the official said. As for the defence counsel's specific query about who exactly the AI official handed over the coffin, he said: "After checking the documents, the coffin was handed over to the consignee, the father of the victim who had come in the same aircraft along with the box".

Body of Delhi Victim

The official denied seeing any photo of the dead body in the documents but pointed out that the victim's passport bore her name.

Besides Mukesh and Akshay, their accomplices Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta are being tried for the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student whom they lured into a bus here on the night of Dec 16, 2012. She named the four of them and two other persons in statements that were recorded by a magistrate before her death.

However, the main accused Ram Singh was found hanging at the Tihar Jail on Mar 11. The proceedings against him have been therefore abated. The sixth accused is a minor. He is currently facing the Juvenile Justice Board.

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