SC to hear plea to shift gang-rape trial out of Delhi

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 21, 2013 14:10 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court said that it would hear Tuesday a petition by one of the accused in the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape seeking the transfer of the trial outside Delhi.

Accused Mukesh sought the shifting of the case to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh or any other state, as he apprehended he would not get free and fair trial in the city.

The apex court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Vikramajit Sen Monday directed the listing of the matter for the next day after Mukesh's counsel M.L. Sharma mentioned it.

"We will take it up for hearing tomorrow," the court told Sharma while directing its listing Tuesday.

Monday's development in the apex court came on a day when the trial in the case commenced in a fast track court in Saket in south Delhi.

The petition said that Mukesh did not expect a free and fair trial in Delhi as the judiciary was under tremendous pressure because of personal interest shown by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and others.

Besides the public pressure and unending public agitations over the incident, the petition drew the apex court's attention to some of the statements made by the serving and retired judges of the higher judiciary who sought changes in the law for an expeditious trial of rape accused.

The petition said the attitude of police and jail authorities was totally biased against the petitioner.

Meanwhile, the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice on a plea by three Delhi High Court lawyers who pointed out that instead of legislating stringent laws, there was a need to change the mindset of the people.

The court was told that there was need for more education and awareness camps. The three advocates who had filed the petition were Geetika Kapoor, Vasundhra Pathak Masoodi and Sushant Singh.

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