The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking transfer of the Delhi gang rape case trial to a place outside the national Capital.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir rejected the plea on the basis of a trial court report that said advocate ML Sharma, who approached it for the transfer, had not been given any authority by accused Mukesh to appear and argue on his behalf.
“Your authority to appear in this matter has been totally denied by the accused,” the bench told Sharma.
As Sharma insisted that he should be heard as an independent person in the case, the bench simply told him that it was unable to accept his submissions “in the facts and circumstances of the case”.
On the last date of hearing, the court was taken aback after two advocates, Sharma and VK Anand, claimed to represent Mukesh — one of the six accused in the case — when the transfer petition came up for hearing.
The transfer petition had claimed that in view of regular agitations, police and judicial officials were under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators and, hence, a fair hearing was not possible in the case.
“Due to media reports and agitations and due to political statements and personal interest shown by the chief minister as well as various cabinet ministers, judiciary is under pressure to work against the petitioner,” it had contended.
A confused bench had asked the fast-track court conducting the trial to talk to Mukesh to find out who his real counsel was and if he wanted to pursue the case for transfer of trial.
After talking to the accused in question, the sessions court filed a report in a sealed cover and after going through it, the apex court dismissed the transfer plea.
Mukesh is one of the six men accused of raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on December 16, 2012 in south Delhi and then dumping her on the road.
She later died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012 Mukesh and four other men have been charged with murder, gang rape and unnatural sex and are being tried by a fast-track court.
The sixth accused was declared a juvenile on Monday by the Juvenile Justice Board.