The Delhi High Court Thursday allowed the plea of a Dec 16 gang-rape accused to use as evidence the TV interview of the victim's friend, the sole witness to the ghastly incident.
Justice GP Mittal, setting aside the order of a fast track court, directed it to permit the accused, Ram Singh, to use the CD of the interview of the witness as evidence.
Advocate VK Anand, appearing for Ram Singh, had moved the high court after the fast-track court trying the case dismissed his plea seeking the use of a CD with the interview of the victim's friend, which a news channel had captured, as crucial evidence that could be brought on record.
"The trial judge passed the impugned order and did not allow the applicant (Ram Singh) to exhibit, place on record and to play the impugned interview on the ground of illegal evidence," Anand said.
Anand said that in the trial court the counsels of the accused could not cross-examine the witness because they wanted the CD of the interview to be put on record.
However, Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Delhi Police, had objected to the use of the CD carrying the interview as evidence. He told the court that the "interview is illegal" as the court had banned such media coverage.
"The CD cannot be used as an evidence on the ground that it has been prepared in violation of a Criminal Procedure Code provision that restrains media coverage of the trial and inquiry proceedings related to a rape case," Krishnan added.
He added that the trial court had ordered in-camera trial of the case and in that case media interview of any nature was completely barred. "There could not be any publication about the case without the court's permission," he said.
He said that during the trial of the case, the media interview would be "interference in the administration of justice".
The youth whose interview is the bone of contention is a software engineer, who was travelling with the 23-year-old victim on the night of Dec 16, 2012. The couple had seen a movie together before boarding the private bus in which the gang-rape took place.