The Supreme Court on Friday rejected defence counsel ML Sharma’s claim that the December 16 gang rape victim was not violated with an iron rod, saying it can’t be raised at the stage of appeal.
“Why didn’t you raise it during the trial? It’s nowhere on the record. You can’t argue about something which is not there on record,” a three-judge bench headed by justice Dipak Misra told Sharma – who is representing convicts Mukesh and Pawan Gupta.
The defence counsel contended that it wasn’t medically possible that the victim’s intestine was pulled out without damaging her uterus, if an iron rod was repeatedly inserted. Post-mortem report prepared by the Singapore hospital where she died during treatment stated that her uterus and ovaries were intact, Sharma contended.
He also sought to debunk the rod insertion theory of the prosecution, saying the DNA report of the victim’s blood sample taken from the bus can’t match from that taken on the morning of December 17, 2012 as she had been given three units of blood. Citing a US case, he said DNA of a patient changes after being administered someone else’s blood.
But the bench rejected his argument, saying, “We are not experts on DNA. It’s not part of the record. You should have raised it during the trial.”
Objecting to Sharma’s claims, senior counsel Siddharth Luthra, representing the prosecution, asked why the prosecution witnesses were not recalled.
Sharma said he had raised it before the Delhi high court.
The bench asked Sharma to finish his arguments on Monday when the hearing would resume.
Besides Mukesh and Pawan, two other convicts are Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur. They were been given death penalty by the trial court in September 2013 for raping a 23-year-old paramedic in Delhi on December 16, 2012, leading to her death few days later in Singapore.
Six months later, the Delhi high court upheld their conviction and sentence. All the convicts moved the SC in 2014, which stayed their execution.
Six persons, including a juvenile had assaulted the woman in a moving bus in south Delhi. Later, the accused threw out the victim and her male friend at an isolated spot. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012, triggering nationwide protests.
The SC had on April 4 began final hearing the convicts’ appeal almost two years after staying their execution.