A peculiar situation arose in the Supreme Court on Tuesday when two lawyers claimed to be representating Mukesh, one of the six accused in the December 16 gangrape case who has sought shifting of trial outside Delhi.
A bench headed by chief justice Altamas Kabir adjourned the hearing on the petition for Wednesday amid the claim and counter claim by two lawyers of having been engaged by the accused to appear and argue before it. "We would hear it tomorrow," the bench, also comprising justices J Chelemashwar and Vikramjit Sen said while rising at the lunch break.
As soon as advocate ML Sharma, who claimed to have filed the plea on behalf of accused Mukesh to seek transfer of trial to Mathura in UP on the ground of prejudice and surcharged atmosphere, started arguments, another lawyer VK Anand objected, saying Sharma was no more associated with the case.
Anand claimed that he was the lawyer of Mukesh.
Earlier, the apex court had agreed to hear Mukesh's plea that a free and fair trial was not possible in the capital, owing to strong public sentiments against the accused. According to Mukesh, who along with four others has been charged with murder, gangrape and unnatural offences, alleged that in view of regular agitations, police and judicial officials are under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators and hence, the fair hearing is not possible.
"The sentiment has gone into the root of each home in Delhi by which even the judicial officers and the state are not spared and in these circumstances, he cannot get justice in Delhi at all," the petition said.
A fast track court has fixed the case for start of day-to-day trial on January 24 when it would hear arguments on framing of charges against the accused in the horrific crime where a 23-year-old paramedic was gangraped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 and dumped on the road. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.