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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Won't stay trial in Shakti Mills gang-rape case: court

PTI  Mumbai, January 03, 2014
First Published: 15:32 IST(3/1/2014) | Last Updated: 16:42 IST(3/1/2014)
Hearing the plea of the accused for transfer of the Shakti Mills gang-rape case, the Bombay high court on Friday refused to stay the trial in the lower court and asked their lawyers to make a proper representation.
    
"We shall not stay the trial... let the proceedings go on in the sessions court," said Justice GS Patel of the vacation bench of the high court.
    
The Court was hearing a letter written by three accused in this case who pleaded for transfer of proceedings to another court as they alleged that the trial judge was not properly recording the defence plea in the evidence.
    
The letter, written by Mohammed Ashfaq Sheikh, Salim Ansari and Vijay Jadhav, was addressed to Chief Justice Mohit Shah who converted it into a petition and placed the matter for hearing before the vacation bench.
    
Earlier, the high court had appointed a lawyer to represent the accused and submit arguments. However, this lawyer was discharged today after two defence advocates appeared on behalf of the accused.
    
Justice Patel told advocates S Prakash and Keshav Chavan that they should seek instructions from the accused and make a proper representation. It should not happen that the accused should write such letters to the Court expressing lack of faith in the Judge.
    
The matter was adjourned to next week to enable the accused to seek instructions.
    
Meanwhile, the trial would go on uninterruptedly in the sessions court from January 6, when the court reopens after Christmas vacations.
 
On July 31 and later on August 22 last year, a 18-year-old tele-operator and a 23-year-old photojournalist were gangraped at the desolate mill compound in Lower Parel.
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