iconimg Tuesday, August 04, 2015

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 17, 2013
The trial in the December 16 gang rape took a weird twist with accused Akshay Thakur on Wednesday requesting the court’s permission to make Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit a defence witness to prove his innocence. Akshay’s counsel AP Singh said Dikshit should be called as a defence witness as she had complained of interference by Delhi police officers in recording of the 23-year-old gang rape victim’s statement by the SDM in December last year. The court will decide on the plea on Thursday.

“We want to call Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as a defence witness to prove the controversy regarding the false and planted statement of the victim,” Singh said.

Special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan opposed Akshay’s request, saying the counsel was doing it to get publicity as the SDM had already been extensively cross-examined by them.

“There is no need for calling so many witnesses. Just to establish that the accused was not present in Delhi, I think one or two of the family members are enough. Most of the witnesses are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the case,” Krishnan said.Soon after the girl’s statement was recorded in December, sources had said that SDM Usha Chaturvedi had claimed that three senior police officers had prevented the video recording of the victim’s statement.

She had also alleged the officials wanted the SDM to use their questionnaire. Later, Dikshit shot off a letter to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde over the alleged interference of the Delhi Police.

Besides the chief minister, Akshay also requested the court to call Dr Naresh Trehan, director of Medanta Hospital, and the family members of the accused as witnesses in his defence to prove that he was not in Delhi on December 16, 2012, when the girl was gang-raped by six persons in a moving bus here.