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New Delhi: Mukesh, one of the six accused in the December 16, 2012 gang rape here, has moved the Supreme Court for shifting the case outside Delhi for “free and fair trial”.
Moving the apex court, Mukesh pleaded that free and fair hearing was not possible because of strong public sentiment against him in the city. A fast track court in Saket in south Delhi would start hearing the case on January 21.
In view of regular agitations, police and judicial officials were under pressure to pass an order according to the demand of the agitators and fair hearing was not possible, said Mukesh, lodged in Tihar jail along with four other accused.
Mukesh’s lawyer M L Sharma, while filing the petition for shifting the case from Delhi to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, said: “The sentiment has gone into the root of each home in Delhi by which even the judicial officers and state are not spared and in these circumstances, he cannot get justice in Delhi at all.”
The plea said due to media reports there were regular public agitations in Delhi.
“Political pressures are mounting to hang the arrested persons...Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her party leader Sonia Gandhi are taking personal interest to get punished the petitioner and his co-accused,” the petition said.
The plea added that “due to media trial and day-to-day agitation, the subject matter has gone into the root of each house in Delhi. Petitioner’s counsel is also under serious threat and even in the court room he has been declined to be heard properly”.
Police filed the charge-sheet against five accused on January 3 accusing them of murder and gang rape, among other charges. Accused Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur were charged with gang raping and brutally assaulting the woman in a moving bus. The victim died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. The case of the sixth accused, who claimed to be juvenile, was being heard by the juvenile justice board.
Rape cases in New Delhi jumped 23 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, according to official figures. For 2012, some 706 rape cases were registered — a 23.43 percent leap from the previous year, police said. Some 45 cases of rape and 75 cases of sexual molestation were reported to police in the two weeks after the brutal gang rape attack on the physiotherapy student. IANS