Two Delhi gang-rape accused want to turn state's witness

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Two accused in the brutal Dec 16 gang-rape of the paramedical intern Sunday expressed their desire to become witnesses on behalf of the state in the case.

Appearing before Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler, after the expiry of their judicial custody, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma said they wanted to be witnesses in the case and refused to take the service of legal aid counsel.

The two other accused in the case, Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh requested legal aid for their defence.

The four accused were produced in the chamber of the judge after expiry of their 14-day judicial custody expired.

Passing the order in an open court, Kler said: "All the accused persons were informed that they can seek legal aid in the case, if they have not engaged any counsel. Accused Pawan and Vinay have refused to take service of the legal aid counsel and have submitted that they want to become witnesses on behalf of the state."

The order said that the two accused have been directed to move an appropriate application to become witnesses in the case before the court concerned.

Kler's order also stated that two other accused (Ram Singh and Mukesh) have not engaged counsel, and want legal aid. They be provided the legal aid counsel, it said.

The court also asked the four to be brought before the court concerned Jan 7, as per the production warrant issued to them after the court took cognizance of the charge sheet filed against the five accused on Jan 3.

"Let all the four accused persons be produced before the court concerned on Jan 7," said Kler.

The court also extended their judicial custody till Jan 19.

Apart from these four accused, the fifth accused Akshay Thakur - whose judicial custody will expire on Jan 9 - will also be produced before the court Monday. However, the Juvenile Justice Board would hear the case of sixth accused, who claims to be a minor.

The five accused have been charges-sheeted under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gang-rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 365 (kidnapping or abduction with intent to secretly or wrongfully confine a person), 394 (hurting in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120B (conspiracy), 34 (common intention), 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), and 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the IPC.