Dec 16 gang rape convicts can’t produce witness in robbery case


New Delhi: Observing that six dates of hearing were adjourned without examining defence witnesses, a court here has closed the right of the December 16, 2012, gang rape convicts to produce further evidence in a robbery case against them.

Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh on Tuesday observed that the last defence witness was examined on January 1. Altogether four defence witnesses were examined in the case.

“For the past six consecutive dates, no witness was brought by the accused in their defence,” the court said.

“In these facts and circumstances, I close their right to lead further defence evidence,” the judge said.

The judge noted that the matter was listed for further leading of defence evidence on March 13, April 24, May 12, June 3, June 29, and June 30.

The court fixed July 14 for beginning of final arguments in the robbery case.

The four gang rape convicts — Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta — are being tried for allegedly beating up and robbing carpenter Ram Adhar, before raping and assaulting a 23-year-old physiotherapist in a moving bus here December 16, 2012.

They have been sentenced to death in the rape case by a trial court, which was confirmed by the Delhi High Court. The matter is now pending in the Supreme Court.

Their statement in the robbery case was recorded in March last year while the court on January 10, 2013, concluded recording of statement of prosecution witnesses. A total of 37 prosecution witnesses were examined in this case.