Delhi gang-rape: Prosecution opposes adjournment

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The prosecution Monday raised objections in the fast track Delhi court hearing the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape case and alleged that accused Mukesh’s defence counsel was trying to delay the trial by seeking an adjournment.

The issue was raised before Additional Session Judge Yogesh Khanna when Mukesh’s counsel M.L. Sharma told the judge that he would not be able to attend the hearing Tuesday as he had urgent matters in the Delhi High Court.

Calling it a “delaying tactic”, Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan said Sharma was putting extraordinary pressure to divert the proceedings of the case.

Krishnan told the court that Sharma should not be allowed to seek adjournments daily as he was deliberately “delaying and disrupting proceedings” in order to prevent a quick trial.

“Counsel (Sharma) is putting extraordinary pressure to divert the proceedings. Some ways or the other he is delaying and diverting the matter,” Krishnan said.

“If it’s a matter of one or two days, we can accommodate. But we cannot accommodate (adjournment) daily. Everyday there will be a problem,” he said.

When the proceedings started, Sharma refused to cross-examine the prosecution witness saying he was “not prepared”.

The court warned Sharma and gave him a last chance saying from Tuesday he would not be allowed to refuse cross-examination of witnesses who appeared in court.

“As a matter of last chance, I am deferring the cross-examination. But from tomorrow counsel have to cross-examine the witness the same day if they are present in the court,” said the court.

At the end of the hearing, Sharma said he could not appear in court Tuesday as he had urgent matters in the Supreme Court and the high court.

Krishnan said: “In every trial the proceedings should be speedy and once it begins, it should be day-to-day. And the trial in every rape case should be completed as expeditiously as possible.”

However, Sharma questioned the speedy trial in the case, saying there was no need of day-to-day hearing in the case.

The court also said that “its a serious matter” and counsel cannot delay it.

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