iconimg Monday, August 03, 2015

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, May 18, 2013
A fast-track court on Saturday said it cannot examine an Investigating Officer (IO) of the December 16 gang rape case in the absence of the accused.

The court also asked Tihar authorities to produce the latest medical report on May 20 of accused Vinay Sharma, who is hospitalised since May 4 at a hospital in the Capital, after he complained of high fever, sore throat and mouth ulcers.

“The boy (accused Vinay Sharma) is not well. If you (the prosecution) record the evidence of the investigating officer, then the boy has to be here. Otherwise, in future there will be a problem. You can proceed only if the accused moves an exemption application,” additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna said.

The judge added that the non-appearance of the accused will delay the trial.

Terming as “crucial” the testimony of investigating officer Pratibha Rani, who had probed the case before the gang rape victim died, defence lawyers said that she has to be examined “throughly”.

The matter was later transferred to her senior officer and SHO.

The counsel for accused Vinay and Pawan said the IO has to identify the accused “which is very important”.

Four of the accused — Vinay, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur — are on trial for the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student and attack on her friend on the night of December 16. The girl, later  died of her injuries on December 29 last year.