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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Dec 16 rape accused probably bit victim: witness

PTI  New Delhi, May 06, 2013
First Published: 19:47 IST(6/5/2013) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(6/5/2013)

A prosecution witness on Monday told a fast track court in New Delhi that the bite marks on the body of the December 16 gangrape victim were likely caused by two of the accused in the case.

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The witness, who practices forensic odontology which deals with the proper handling, examination and evaluation of dental evidence, submitted that some of the bite marks on the 23-year-old victim reasonably matched the dental models of Ram Singh and probably that of Akshay, both accused in the case.

"Based on the bite marks visible in the photographs 1,2 and 4, and their comparison with the dental models of the five suspects, there is reasonable medical certainty that the teeth of Ram Singh caused the bite marks. The same comparison was not true for the remaining four suspects as having caused the bite marks (in those photos)."

"Based on bite marks visible in photograph 5 and their comparison with the dental models of the five suspects, the teeth of Akshay probably or most likely caused the bite marks. The same comparison did not hold true for the remaining four suspects as having caused the bite marks," the witness told additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna during cross-examination by the defence counsel.

At this, defence counsel VK Anand said that use of words 'likely, 'probably' in his report suggests that it was not reliable, concrete and that it could not be acted upon.

The witness then went on to explain the different degrees of certainty that are used while such reports are prepared and what each degree implies.

He said the first degree is termed "reasonable medical certainty" and it denotes "highest order of certainty that the suspect caused the bite mark and there is no reasonable or practicable possibility that someone else could have caused the bite mark".

The second degree is termed "possibly the biter or cannot exclude the biter", he said, adding that it implies that "the suspect's teeth may have caused the bite mark, but so could have others".

Proceedings in the court on Monday heated up a bit after the prosecution team lead by special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan and additional public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan objected to a question from AP Singh, counsel for accused Vinay Sharma.

The defence lawyer wanted to know whether the doctor before he had prepared his report was aware that the victim was a paramedical student. This line of questioning was objected to by the prosecution. However, the atmosphere became lighter when the witness remarked he does not subscribe to newspapers.

The witness also denied the allegation of the defence counsel that the findings in his report were not correct and were reached at the instance of the Delhi Police.

"It is wrong to suggest that my report is not based on correct findings. It is wrong to suggest that I have prepared my report at the instance of the Delhi Police and to benefit the prosecution since the victim was a para-medical student," the doctor said.

The witness also refuted the allegation by the accused' counsel that he is not qualified or competent to make such a forensic report.

"I have not come across any rule or regulation that a Bachelor of Dental Sciences (BDS) can or cannot give such reports, but as a matter of practice, a BDS can give such reports," he said.

The victim was gangraped and brutally assaulted by six persons, including a juvenile. She later died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Mukesh, Ram Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta were the five adult accused facing trial in the case. The proceedings against Ram Singh abated after his death on March 11.

The sixth accused, a juvenile, is facing proceedings before a Juvenile Justice Board.

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