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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Dec 16 gangrape: Plea to make CM Dikshit defence witness dismissed

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 18, 2013
First Published: 22:07 IST(18/7/2013) | Last Updated: 23:30 IST(18/7/2013)

The fast track court hearing the December 16 gangrape case on Thursday dismissed the plea of accused Akshay Thakur to call Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit as a defence witness.

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Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, while dismissing the plea, termed the request as an "abuse of the process".

Special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan had vehemently opposed Akshay's request, saying the "counsel was doing it to get publicity". He said the SDM was already cross-examined extensively.

The court, meanwhile, refused to summon any defence witnesses but allowed the accused to bring 12 witnesses in their defence for deposition on Friday and Saturday.

"The request to summon the chief minister to prove the alleged controversy or alleged false recording of statement of the prosecutrix is nothing but an abuse of the process," the court said.

The judge also declined the request of the accused to summon SDM Usha Chaturvedi as a defence witness. AP Singh, the counsel representing Akshay and another accused Vinay Sharma, had said there was a controversy surrounding the victim's statement under Section 164 of the CrPC and the manner in which it had been recorded.

He had submitted that he wanted Dikshit's testimony in the case to clarify the issue.In December last year, the SDM had claimed that three senior police officers had interfered with the recording of the victim's statement.

Later, Dikshit shot off a letter to home minister Sushilkumar Shinde over the alleged interference of the Delhi Police.

Besides the chief minister, Akshay had also requested the court to call Dr Naresh Trehan, director of Medanta Hospital, and his family members as witnesses in his defence to prove that he was not in Delhi on December 16, 2012.

The court allowed Akshay's request to call as witness his family members to establish his claim that he was not in Delhi on that fateful night.


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