The process to bring the alleged perpetrators of the horrific gang rape to justice has entered its last lap with a special court at Saket holding day-to-day hearing, having already examined 73 of the 80 witnesses in the case.
Those who have been cross-examined so far include crucial witnesses like the victim’s male friend, police officers, doctors, forensic and DNA experts.
The prosecution has demanded death sentence for the four accused— Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay. Prime accused Ram Singh had committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar jail on March 11.
The fifth accused, a minor, is being tried at a juvenile court and the maximum punishment he faces, as per law, is only a three year’s confinement at a reformatory home.
Prosecution sources said all the witnesses examined so far have stood by their earlier statement, indicting all the accused. Police have claimed the DNA report has established the involvement of all the accused in the crime.
However, lawyers for the accused claimed reports were “fabricated” and that they have been framed.Prosecution sources said the trial has “entered a crucial stage” with the victim’s mother and investigation officers to depose in the coming week.
“The crime was executed in a well-planned manner. Each one of them has a specific role in the commission of the offence. So they are equally liable for the crime. We have sufficient evidence against all the accused. We will demand death sentence for all the adult accused,” police sources said.
The trial had had its fair bit of drama with one accused requesting “proper diet” including fruits, milk and newspapers in jail to keep himself fit for appearing in a test for a job with the Indian Air Force.
The lawyer for another accused repeatedly remained absent from the court, delaying the trial and forcing the court to replace him.