Taking note of the confusion that ensued after two lawyers claimed to represent one of the six accused in the December 16 gang rape case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the fast-track court judge hearing the case to find out who the real counsel was and whether he wanted shifting of the trial outside Delhi.
The two advocates claimed to be representing accused Mukesh and were engaged in a verbal duel on Tuesday before a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir adjourned the hearing.
The bench refused to hear the case and asked the trial judge to find out who the counsel was and if he wanted to pursue the case in the apex court filed by one of his lawyers seeking transfer of the trial.
As soon as advocate ML Sharma — who claimed to have filed the plea on behalf of accused Mukesh seeking transfer of the trial to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on the grounds of prejudice and charged atmosphere — started arguments, another lawyer VK Anand objected by saying Sharma was no more associated with the accused.
The court then asked the advocate-on-record to appear before it at noon to find out the truth. When the matter was again taken up after lunch, Anand did a U-turn, saying he has been authorised by the accused to represent him only in the trial court.
Sharma then alleged that Mukesh was being tortured by the police and Anand was trying to block hearing of the transfer plea in the gang rape case in which arguments on charges will commence from Thursday.
The court directed the sessions judge to talk to Mukesh and find out the truth behind these allegations and posted the matter for hearing till January 30.
On December 16, a 23-year-old student was raped and assaulted by six men on a moving bus in Delhi.