Two of the accused in December 16 gangrape case today alleged that the investigation as well as conduct of the authorities has not been impartial due to "political pressure".
The counsel for accused Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, in his final arguments before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna alleged the probe in the case was "manipulated" and evidence was "planted" against his clients.
However, the proceedings were disrupted after the defence counsel, A P Singh, collapsed amidst arguments due to ill health.
"Investigation was manipulated. Evidence was planted. The conduct of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (who recorded the victim's first statement) and the Metropolitan Magistrate (who conducted pre-trial proceedings) was also affected due to manipulation," Singh said during his brief arguments.
Advocate Singh alleged the authorities were expected to be impartial, but "they were not allowed to be, due to the political pressure" on them.
The lawyer also questioned the priority given to this particular case by the Metropolitan Magistrate during the initial stage of the proceedings, "as hearings were held after normal court hours without any specific instruction from any judicial authority".
Singh also alleged that evidences, like bloodstains, shoes of the victim's male friend recovered from Vinay's home, were "planted" in the case by the probe agency.
He said that forensic reports were prepared without analysis of the samples collected and were made to "suit" the demands of the prosecution due to the "political pressure" which was brought to bear upon the case.
The proceedings, however, were adjourned for tomorrow after Singh collapsed in the midst of arguments and none of the other lawyers representing the remaining accused Mukesh and Pawan Gupta were present in court.
Meanwhile, advocate Vivek Sharma, representing Pawan, moved an application through a colleague seeking time till September 2 to begin arguments.
However, the plea was rejected by the court.
The court while adjourning the matter for tomorrow, made it clear that if Sharma does not appear then the amicus curiae in the case will advance the defence arguments.
According to the prosecution, Ram Singh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan, Mukesh and a juvenile, who is being tried by the Juvenile Justice Board here, had allegedly gangraped a 23-year-old girl in a bus after luring aboard her and her 28-year-old male friend, who was also assaulted.
The limbs of the victim's friend, a software engineer, had been fractured in the incident, while the girl, a paramedic student, succumbed to her injuries on December 29 last year while undergoing treatment at a Singapore hospital.
During the trial, Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail on March 11 and court proceedings against him stand abated.
The juvenile, meanwhile, has been held guilty by JJB of robbing a carpenter who had boarded the bus prior to the rape with the verdict on him in the gangrape case likely to be pronounced on August 31.