New Delhi, 17 Jul (PTI): An accused in the December 16 gangrape trial today sought permission of a special court to make Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit a defence witness in the case.
After the court concluded recording of statement of all the accused, Akshay Thakur filed a list of defence witnesses before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna to prove his innocence.
Producing the list before the court, Akshay’s counsel A P Singh said the Delhi Chief Minister should be called as a defence witness as she had complained of interference by the Delhi police officers in recording of the 23-year-old gangrape victim’s statement by the SDM in December last year.
“We want to call Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit as a defence witness to prove the controversy regarding the false and planted statement of the victim,” Singh said.
Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan opposed Akshay’s request saying the counsel is doing it to get publicity as the SDM was already cross-examined extensively by them.
“There is no need for calling so many witnesses. Just to establish that the accused was not present in Delhi, I think one or two of the family members is enough. Most of the witnesses are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the case,” he said.
The court, however, reserved its order for tomorrow.
Soon after the girl’s statement was recorded in December, the sources had said that SDM Usha Chaturvedi had claimed that three senior police officers had prevented the video recording of the victim’s statement. She had also alleged the officials wanted the SDM to use their questionnaire.
Later, Dikshit shot off a letter to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde over the alleged interference of police.
Denying the allegations, Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had said police never forced any questionnaire on SDM.
Besides the Chief Minister, Akshay has also requested the court to call Dr Naresh Trehan, Director of Medanta Hospital, and all his family members as witnesses in his defence to show that he was not in Delhi on December 16, 2012, when the girl was gang raped by six persons in a moving bus here.
Akshay said it is very important to know that on whose instruction Dr Trehan was visiting the victim at Safdarjung Hospital here.
As per the prosecution, the six persons in the bus were driver Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay, Pawan Gupta, Mukesh and a juvenile and all of them had raped the girl.
The victim died of injuries on December 29 last year while undergoing treatment in 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, faced an inquiry before the juvenile justice board here.
Pawan’s counsel Vivek Sharma and Sadashiv Gupta have also submitted a list of seven witnesses, including his father and uncle, who had brought the accused from a musical function in south Delhi as he slept there on December 16 last year.
In his statement before the court, Pawan had said that on December 16, 2012, he left his fruit shop early and consumed liquor at his home. Later in the evening, he had accompanied Vinay Sharma to a music function in south Delhi.
Meanwhile, advocate V K Anand, appearing for Mukesh, said he would not be calling any witness in his defence.
Singh in his list has also called for the CCTV footage of New Delhi railway station to establish that he had boarded a train on December 15, 2012 and left for his village.