Dec 16 rape case: Bus owner, carpenter to appear as witnesses

A city court on Wednesday allowed the prosecution in the December 16 gangrape case to produce as witnesses the owner of the bus in which a 23-year-old woman was gangraped and a carpenter who was allegedly robbed by the accused on the night of the incident.

The two shall appear at the fast track court in Saket for cross-examination by the defence counsel.

The cross-examination of the Investigating Officer (IO) in the case has been deferred and shall continue after the two witnesses record their statements.

The prosecution had earlier dropped the bus owner and carpenter as witnesses. However, Dayan Krishnan, special public prosecutor in the case, had mentioned in his plea that not producing Dinesh and Ramadhar would appear to be unfair to the accused.

Rajiv Mohan, public prosector in the case further, explained that summoning the two witnesses was necessary to explain certain gaps in the investigation.

"We also want to establish how the bus fell into the hands of Ram Singh," Mohan said in court. Ram Singh, who allegedly drove the bus in which the woman was gangraped, was found dead in Tihar jail on March 11.

A P Singh, counsel for accused Vinay and Akshay, objected to the production of additional witnesses.

"The defence has already completed its examination of the prosecution witnesses. Producing new witnesses once they have been dropped is not fair," Singh alleged.

In his cross-examination of the IO on July 1, Singh had alleged that the bus had been planted as evidence.

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