Dec 16 gangrape: Accused question victim's dying declaration

The counsel for 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.

Delhi gangrape protest
Representational pic

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 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 interfered 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 JJB of robbing a carpenter who had boarded the bus prior to the rape with the verdict on him in the gangrape case likely to be pronounced on August 31.  

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