Two gangrape accused want to become state witnesses: Report

Sunday

Two of the six accused in the Delhi gangrape case on Sunday reportedly told a court that they want to become witnesses on behalf of the state, while two others pleaded for legal aid.

Of the four accused, who were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler inside her chamber after expiry of their 14 days of judicial remand, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma refused to take the service of legal aid counsel and expressed their willingness to become witnesses in the gangrape-cum-murder case, a PTI report said.

Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, who were also produced before the court, have asked for legal aid counsel in the case for their defence.

Legal experts feel that an accused cannot hope to become a witness especially in cases of heinous crimes like the Delhi gangrape-cum-murder to escape punishment.

Usually in a case where investigators find it difficult to gather evidence, they could ask for an accused to become an approver to get crucial evidence and in return, the accused could get lighter sentence or escape punishment, experts told PTI.

The magistrate, meanwhile, extended their judicial remand till January 19, and asked them to appear before the court on Monday.

"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 magistrate said in the order dictated in the open court room after the accused were sent back to jail.

The magistrate, in her order, said, "Pawan and Vinay have been directed to move an appropriate application to become witnesses in the case before the court concerned."

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Chhaya Sharma said, "I am not aware of what happened inside the court. The accused persons are free to make any statement inside the court, but nothing of this sort (accused asking to turn witness) has happened as far as I know."

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