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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

SC to hear plea to shift rape trial ouside Delhi

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 22, 2013
First Published: 00:20 IST(22/1/2013) | Last Updated: 10:42 IST(22/1/2013)

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine the plea of one of the six accused in the gangrape-cum-murder case of 23-year-old paramedical student to transfer the trial outside Delhi.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said it would hear accused Mukesh's petition on Tuesday after his lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma made an urgent mentioning of the matter. Sharma said his client wanted the transfer on the grounds that free and fair hearing was not possible in Delhi due to strong public sentiment against him.

In his transfer petition, Mukesh claimed that the police and judicial officials in the Capital were under tremendous pressure due to regular protests in the city. He expressed his apprehension that a fair hearing was impossible as the protestors were already demanding death sentence for them and sought transfer of the case to Mathura, UP.

"The sentiment has gone into the root of each home in Delhi by which even the judicial officers and the state are not spared and in these circumstances, he cannot get justice in Delhi at all," the petition added.

A fast-track court at Saket is hearing the case on a day-to-day basis. The case was assigned to additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna.

Mukesh's petition claimed that "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, the judiciary is under pressure to work against the petitioner".

Six persons, including a juvenile, are facing trial in the case. The minor accused is facing proceedings before the juvenile justice board. The five other accused - Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur - have been charged with the offences punishable by maximum death penalty.

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