Delhi gang-rape case: SC agrees to hear plea on shifting trial outside Delhi on Tuesday

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 21, 2013 07:30 hrs

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of one of the six accused in the December 16 gangrape-cum-murder case for shifting the trial to a place outside Delhi.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir listed the matter for Tuesday, after M L Sharma, the lawyer for accused Mukesh Singh, pleaded for an urgent hearing on the grounds that a free and fair hearing is not possible in Delhi because of the strong public sentiment against him.

Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gangrape and unnatural offences, submitted in his petition that in view of the regular agitation, police and judicial officials are allegedly under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators.

He referred to protests that are held regularly at Jantar Mantar where students and activists are calling for swift justice and tougher anti-rape laws.

Sharma had earlier said that the statements issued by the Prime Minister, other leaders and officials, have given direct message to the judicial authorities about what they should do and how they should handle the case.

"I need a judge to hear the matter, who is himself not biased. The judge should not sit for a trial if he or she has sympathy for the victim. I have no objection about anyone having sentimental feelings for the victim, but there should be no bias," said Sharma.

"Despite our repeated requests that they should not be handcuffed, the court is disagreeing to that. If the judiciary is under pressure, people are under pressure, then I cannot get a fair trial for my client Mukesh," he added.

Meanwhile the trial of five accused begins in a fast-track court from today. The special court is expected to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis in the case.

The victim, a physiotherapy student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. She died of her injuries on December 29, 2012 in the multi-specialty Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Her male friend, who was accompanying her that day, was also assaulted by the accused and both of them were thrown out of the bus. (ANI)

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