Jail CCTV footage shows gang-rape accused not attacked

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) A fast track court, hearing the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape case, Wednesday said the CCTV recording provided by Tihar Jail authorities does not show that accused Vinay Sharma was beaten up by other inmates.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, after examining the CCTV footage, said: “I have examined the CCTV footage provided by the jail superintendent of Tihar Jail qua allegation of beating of accused Vinay Sharma. No such alleged incident is seen in the said CCTV footage.”

The court’s order came after it saw the CD of CCTV footage of the barrack where Sharma is lodged at present.

Tihar Jail officials had earlier denied the allegations of Sharma that he was beaten by inmates and his right arm was fractured earlier this month.

The prison officials said Sharma’s right arm was fractured “due to a fall in police van while returning to jail from court”.

He fell while having a fight with another co-accused Akshay Thakur, they said.

Sharma had appeared in the court with fractured arm April 5 and pleaded that he should not be sent back to his barrack in the jail after the court proceeding as he feared for his life.

The court, which has recorded statements of 65 prosecution witnesses till now, took note of the conduct of counsel M.L. Sharma, representing accused Mukesh, in not appearing for the proceeding.

The court granted him a “last opportunity” to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses.

The judge inquired from Mukesh if he wanted to have a government counsel from the legal aid authority but he refused.

The court said it will also consider appointing an amicus curiae, who could assist the court in the absence of defence counsel to avoid any delay in the trial.

The court Monday warned advocate Sharma not to miss hearings.

Despite warnings by the court not to delay the process of cross-examination, Sharma has been refusing to cross-examine prosecution witnesses on one ground or other.

The prosecution has also been repeatedly raising objections about Sharma’s non-appearance or taking adjournments allegedly for delaying the trial.

A 23-year-old woman was brutally tortured and gang-raped in a moving bus Dec 16, 2012 by five men and a juvenile. The woman later died in a Singapore hospital.

The juvenile is facing proceedings before a Juvenile Justice Board, while the other accused were put up for trial in the fast track court. One of the accused, Ram Singh, is dead.

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