December 16 gang rape: Accused questions victim's dying declaration

New Delhi: Two of the accused in the December 16 gang rape case on Thursday questioned in a court here the authenticity of the girl's dying declaration being relied upon by Delhi Police, as they clai

New Delhi: Two of the accused in the December 16 gang rape case on Thursday questioned in a court here the authenticity of the girl's dying declaration being relied upon by Delhi Police, as they claimed that the same was introduced by the probe agency after her death. The counsel for the accused Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, in his final arguments before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, claimed the arrest of six accused was an after-thought and the 23-year-old paramedic had not recorded any statement before the SDM as she died on December 21, 2012. Pointing out that there was a tug of war between Delhi Police and the city government over recording of the girl's statement by Sub-Divisional Magistrate Usha Chaturvedi, the counsel argued the judicial officer had refused to plant a false statement of the victim, who was already dead, prepared by police. -"The victim died on December 21, 2012. The police have not placed any photo of the girl in which her eyes are visible. Seeing the individual's eye in the photo, anyone can identify whether the person is dead or alive. To hide this particular fact, the police have not placed such photographs on record. The controversy over recording of the girl's statement broke out after the SDM refused to do what the police wanted. How is it possible that the girl who was in critical condition, as per the prosecution, has given a 4-page statement. The statement was prepared by the police,-" A P Singh, the counsel for Vinay and Akshay said during the second day of his arguments. The counsel said -"after the SDM raised objection, if the police were to bring out the truth, they could have recorded the girl's statement through video recording-". Singh submitted there was a delay in recording the girl's statement. -"The girl's statement was recorded thrice. Which one should be taken as the original one ,-" Singh said, adding delay in recording of the victim's statement creates a doubt over the prosecution theory. The SDM had, in December 2012, claimed three police officers interferred with the recording of the victim's statement. The Delhi Chief Minister had written to the Union Home Minister, demanding a probe into the matter. According to the prosecution, Ram Singh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh and the juvenile, who is being tried by the Juvenile Justice Board here, had allegedly gangraped the girl in a bus after luring her and her 28-year-old male friend, who was also assaulted, on board. The victim's friend, a software engineer, had fractured his limbs in the incident. The girl succumbed to her injuries on December 29 last year while undergoing treatment at a Singapore hospital. During the trial, Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail on March 11 and court proceedings against him stand abated. The sixth accused, a juvenile, has been held guilty by the Juvenile Justice Board of robbing a carpenter who had boarded the bus prior to the rape with the verdict on him in the gang rape case likely to be pronounced on August 31. During his arguments, Singh also rejected electronic and medical evidences produced by the prosecution in its final arguments, which concluded on August 26, saying the electronic evidence are not always correct and the medical evidence can be planted -"very easily-". -"The police in its case have shown the location of the accused's mobile in South Delhi area, where the girl was raped in a moving bus for over an hour. The victim's mobile, as per the details given by Airtel office, gives location of Dilli Gate in central Delhi,-" he said, adding neither the youth nor the police has given the correct details of the incident. -"It can be possible that the girl was raped there and thrown by anybody else in south Delhi,-" Singh said. The counsel said the police -"very smartly planted a false bus-" and arrested these persons and planted their blood samples in the vehicle. -"The bus was parked at Thyagaraj Stadium here so that the police can easily go and plant the evidence,-" he said, adding that then only the forensic team was sent there to lift the samples of the accused. Referring to the contents of the FIR, Singh argued when the police register a case, they ask every possible question in relation to the crime and try to mention the name of the offenders but in this case these essential details were missing and were planted later on. In his arguments, Singh also pointed to the credibility of the youth's deposition and said -"he is a liar and has hidden the true facts of the incident. His claims should not be accepted by the court-". -"He (youth) had said that he had fainted during the fight with the accused. If he had fainted, how he saw the accused raping the girl and removing the clothes if the light of the bus was put off. The FIR talks of four-five unknown persons. At least one name should have been mentioned by any of the two alleged victims,-" he said, adding the recoveries were planted and no public persons were made witnesses in the case.

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