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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Dec 16 gang rape: Hearing of final arguments to begin today

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 21, 2013
First Published: 22:00 IST(21/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:05 IST(22/8/2013)

The trial in the December 16 gang rape case has entered its last lap with the special court set to begin hearing the final arguments on Thursday.

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The court concluded recording of defence witnesses on Wednesday.

It had earlier recorded the statement of 83 witnesses produced by the prosecution; all of them stood by their statements.

"The defence evidence on behalf of all accused stands closed. Final arguments to start tomorrow (August 22)," Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna said.

The trial in the case began on February 2 with the court charging the five accused - Ram Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh.

The sixth accused is a minor whose trial was conducted before a juvenile justice board, which has reserved its judgment. Trial against Ram Singh abated after he committed suicide in Tihar jail on March 11.

The crucial prosecution witnesses were the male friend of the victim, her mother, the investigating officer, the magistrate who had recorded the victim's dying declaration, policemen, doctors at Safdarjung hospital where she was initially admitted and DNA experts.

One of the accused, Vinay, had tried to prove that he was not on the bus that day but at a music event organised by a church in the DDA district park at Hauz Khas in south Delhi with co-accused Pawan. However, his claim was rejected by the prosecution witnesses.

Another accused Akshay had said he had left for his village in Bihar a day prior to the incident.

Mukesh, during his deposition, had said he was driving the bus in which the girl was sexually assaulted and her male friend was brutally attacked by his brother Ram Singh, Vinay, Pawan, Akshay and the juvenile.

However, the other three had refuted Mukesh's submissions and claimed innocence.


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