A special court on Monday could not record the statement of two defence witnesses in the December 16 gang rape case as the duo failed to appear before the court.
Accused Pawan Gupta's counsel Vivek Sharma later told additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna that he intended to drop the two witnesses who were supposed to depose on behalf of the accused. The court has allowed him to produce one remaining witness.
The court had earlier allowed Pawan to produce seven witnesses in his defence.
"The aforesaid witnesses are dropped from the list of witnesses. Regarding witness Hari Kishan, it is submitted that his son-in-law has passed away and this witness will appear in court probably on Wednesday or Thursday," the court said, while directing accused Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur's counsel AP Singh to bring defence witnesses, if any, by tomorrow.
The court has recorded testimony of four of the defence witnesses, including Pawan's father, who had told the judge that his son was innocent. He had also said that his son was not on the bus in which the 23-year-old girl was gang-raped by six persons. The men are also accused of assaulting the victim's male friend.
After recording of statements of accused Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay and Vinay in the case, the court asked them to lead witnesses in their defence.
As per the prosecution, bus driver Ram Singh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan and Mukesh had allegedly gang-raped the girl on a moving bus on the night of December 16. 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, faced an inquiry before the juvenile justice board here.