New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear a petition filed by one of the accused in the brutal Delhi gangrape-murder case for the trial to be shifted outside Delhi. Defence lawyers say they fear a free and fair hearing is not possible in Delhi because of the strong public sentiment against the accused.
Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gangrape and unnatural offences, submitted in his petition that in view of regular agitation, police and judicial officials are allegedly under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators and fair hearing is not possible.
"The sentiment has gone into the root of each home in Delhi by which even the judicial officers and the state are not spared and in these circumstances, he cannot get justice in Delhi at all," the petition, filed through his advocate, said.
The petition said that "due to media reports and agitations and due to political statements and personal interest shown by the chief minister as well as various cabinet ministers, judiciary is under pressure to work against the petitioner". The accused has sought transfer of the case to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. There are six accused in the case including a juvenile.
This came even as the hearing of the case began in Saket fast-track court on Monday. Arguments in the case will be made from January 24.
The five other accused, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, have been charge with the offences of murder, gangrape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under IPC.
All the accused had gangraped the 23-year-old student in a moving bus on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Meanwhile, speaking on the protests against the Delhi gangrape case Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir saluted the spirit of the citizens who raised their voice. "My nephew was also protesting at the India Gate and he was beaten up. I salute everyone who protested, I wish I could have been there," he said.