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Delhi gangrape: Church secy refutes accused's plea

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2013 09:03 IST

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A Church's secretary, who deposed before a special court in New Delhi on Saturday, refuted the claim of a December 16 gangrape case accused that he was in a music event organised by it on the night of the incident.

The prosecution brought as a witness, the brother of a Church, who is also its secretary, to counter the claim of Vinay Sharma who had in his statement said he was not in the bus in which the 23-year-old girl was gangraped allegedly by six persons.

Vinay had claimed that on December 16, he had gone to a music event organised by the Church in the DDA district park at Hauz Khas in south Delhi and co-accused Pawan Gupta was also present there.

"It is wrong to suggest that our Church had organised any programme on December 16, 2012 in DDA district park at Hauz Khas or that I am deposing falsely in this regard. We are Protestants and our Church does not celebrate Christmas.

"It is wrong to suggest that the Joint Secretary had signed the letter, the format of which was prepared by SHO, Vasant Vihar police station.... It is wrong to suggest that I am deposing falsely," the witness told Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna during his cross-examination.

Aked by the counsel for the accused that the family members of the Protestant do offer prayers or organise musical function on the eve of Christmas in park, the witness said "such families organise the family prayers within the Church premises."

"No musical programmes are organised in the family prayers. May be the members of families sing before the prayer. It is wrong to suggest that the families who do not have space organise the family prayers in the parks," the witness said.

He also refuted the accused's claim that as he has not gone to the park, so he cannot say if anyone was holding a function at the park and said "our Church had not organised any function there on that evening".

As of now, the secretary was the last witness on behalf of the prosecution. The court has recorded the statements of 85 prosecution witnesses.

Meanwhile, Vinay and Akshay Thakur's counsel moved a fresh application before the court to call three new witnesses to establish that the prosecution witnesses, whose statements were recorded by the court, were "false" and were "tutored".

The counsel said the prosecution was allowed to bring their witnesses during recording of defence witness' testimonies.

"If they were allowed to bring new witnesses, we should also be given permission to produce our witness in the interest of justice and fair trial on behalf of the accused," the counsel added.

During the proceedings, the counsel for Pawan Gupta also sought the court's direction to produce one witness as he could not depose earlier for the reason that his son-in-law had expired at that time.

The pleas were opposed by Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan, saying the relevant witnesses on behalf of the accused have already been examined, so the applications should be dismissed.

After hearing the arguments, the court reserved the order for tomorrow.

According to the prosecution, Ram Singh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh had allegedly gangraped the girl in the moving bus. The victim died of injuries on December 29 last year while undergoing treatment in a Singapore hospital.

During the trial, Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail on March 11 and court proceedings against him stand abated. The sixth accused, a juvenile, is facing inquiry before the juvenile justice board here.