New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) The fast-track court trying the Dec 16 gang-rape case Thursday rejected the plea of the defence lawyer for two of the accused that the trial be held on alternate days even as it again pulled him up for “stalling proceedings” by failing to appear.
Citing Section 309 (power to postpone or adjourn proceedings) of CrPC), Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna rejected the plea of Mukesh and Akshay’s advocate M.L. Sharma, saying he does not get “enough time” to spend with his clients and needs one day prior to cross-examining the prosecution witnesses, thus the trial should take place on alternate days.
The court, however, said that it would be appropriate if the accused are brought to the court everyday at 11 a.m. and talk to their counsel, if needed.
Meanwhile, the fact that Sharma failed to turn up for the hearing, only sending a message to a court official that he was hospitalized and was being administered glucose, aggravated the judge.
“Stalling the proceedings of the court is something very, very wrong… I’ll have to take strict action,” said the judge.
However, “one more opportunity” was given to Sharma to appear before the court Monday, April 1 – till when the matter was further posted by the court.
The judge further criticized Sharma for not informing the court directly if he was going to be absent.
Sharma was Tuesday also pulled up by the court for delaying and disrupting proceedings. He had replaced V.K. Anand, who was earlier appearing for Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, after the former was found dead in jail, having allegedly committed suicide.
On the matter pertaining to providing a tutor to one of the accused – Vinay Sharma who is preparing for an interview with the Indian Air Force (IAF), Tihar Jail officials told the court thet they would provide a welfare officer to Sharma.
His counsel had moved an application seeking that a “tutor be provided to Vinay to help him prepare” for his interview for C grade category of the IAF and that “he will serve” the force.