Gangrape accused get lawyers

Thursday

Outside court, lawyer alleges Mukesh Singh tortured in custody, confession extorted.

A Delhi court on Thursday accepted the vakalatnama of four lawyers to represent five men arrested for the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old paramedic student who died 13 days after the assault on board a bus on December 16.

Defence lawyers said they have been given time until January 14 to scrutinise documents and the chargesheet filed by police.

All five men the sixth accused is said to be a juvenile who is scheduled to appear before a Juvenile Justice Board on January 15 will be produced in court again on January 14. They were brought to the Saket court under heavy security on Thursday.

Proceedings in the court of metropolitan magistrate Namrita Agarwal were a closed affair the media has been restrained from reporting on the proceedings. No mediaperson was allowed inside the courtroom. Policemen formed a ring outside to prevent mediapersons from entering the courtroom.

After the hearing, lawyers told reporters that advocate Manohar Lal Sharma will appear for accused Mukesh Singh while Ram Singh will be represented by V K Anand. A P Singh will be the counsel for Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur. It is learnt that the fifth accused, Pawan, too, will have a lawyer.

Outside the court, Sharma alleged that Mukesh had been tortured in custody and a confession was extorted by police. "Even in jail, he was being given third-degree by other inmates," Sharma alleged and claimed that his client was not even in the bus at the time of the incident.

Anand, counsel for accused Ram Singh, too, claimed his client's innocence. "I do not know about police torture but I definitely saw some injury marks on Singh's stomach. When I meet him next, I will ask him how he received those fresh scars. We will reply to the court after scrutiny of documents submitted in the chargesheet," he said.

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