New Delhi: One of the four accused in the December 16 gangrape case sought a direction from a special court in New Delhi that he be provided nutritious food inside Tihar jail as he has to prepare for tests for recruitment of clerks in Indian Air Force. Vinay Sharma, the accused who along with others had allegedly gangraped the 23-year-old girl in a moving bus, moved the plea before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna and sought "proper food and newspapers" inside jail.
The court sent the application to the jail authorities for their comments. Meanwhile, the judge also took strong note of the fact that defence lawyers come late to attend the proceedings and cautioned them that it was the last warning and that they could be replaced.
"I am observing that the defence counsel are coming as per their choice. They (defence counsel) should understand that they are dealing with a very serious case. They are taking the court for granted. I will write to Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to provide counsel to accused if in future also, the counsel reach late. It cannot go on like this. Please make sure that from tomorrow, you (defence counsel) are on time," the judge said.
The proceedings no Monday got delayed by 45 minutes as the counsel for accused Pawan Gupta and Vinay came late. Later, a lawyer for accused Mukesh and Akshay Singh refused to cross-examine the witnesses and said he start from Tuesday.
The lawyer also said he has been given time till April 4 to file an appeal in the Delhi High Court against the order by which his application seeking documents in Hindi was rejected. Accused Vinay, in his plea, said he be given milk, fruits and newspapers in jail as he has to prepare for his written examinations on April 7.
Earlier, he had moved the court seeking a tutor as well as reading material to help him prepare for his Indian Air Force clerical recruitment test. Subsequently, Tihar jail authorities had provided him a tutor to guide him in his studies.
The court, which has till date recorded the statements of 63 prosecution witnesses, told the lawyers that from Tuesday it will not adjourn the matter until unless any one is ill. Initially, five accused in the case were facing trial for allegedly gangraping and assaulting a girl on the night of December 16, 2012.
With the proceedings against the main accused Ram Singh having abated after his death on March 11, the remaining four adults accused Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay and Pawan are facing trial in the case for rape and murder of the girl. The sixth accused in the case is a juvenile who is facing proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board here. The girl died on December 29, 2012 in a Singapore hospital due to the grievous injuries she suffered when she was brutally assaulted by the six accused.