An accused in the December 16 gangrape and murder trial today claimed before a special court here that some defence witnesses, who were to depose in his favour, were being "detained illegally" by Bihar Police.
Akshay Thakur moved an application seeking direction from additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna that summons be issued to the defence witnesses, natives of Bihar, through his counsel A P Singh.
Akshay's counsel said a wireless message be also sent to the SSP, Aurangabad to ensure safety of the witnesses as they are being illegally detained in Tandwa police station there and are being harassed.
He also sought directions to ensure that police officials of his village do not obstruct witnesses from appearing before the court.
Special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan opposed the plea saying the accused is delaying the trial as earlier also he had falsely pleaded that the defence witnesses were not getting reservation in any of the trains to Delhi.
Krishnan submitted that his allegation is false and none of the witnesses has been detained and stopped from deposing.
"Summons be issued for the witnesses and be given dasti to A P Singh, advocate for accused, so that he could fax the summons to the witnesses.
"A wireless/fax message may also be sent forthwith by the lock up incharge of Saket court or by the incharge Saket court complex police station, New Delhi to the SSP Aurangabad, stating allegation made by Singh," the judge said.
The court further asked the SSP to ensure that the police officials of Tandwa, as alleged, should not come in the way of the appearance of the witnesses before the court on August 1.
To prove his innocence, the court had allowed Akshay to produce five of his family members as defence witnesses.
During recording of his statement, Akshay had claimed that he was not in the bus in which the 23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped allegedly by a group of six persons.
He had claimed to have left Delhi in a train prior to the sexual assault of the girl.
"He was at his home town in Bihar, which can be confirmed by his family members," Akshay's counsel had said.
After recording of the statements of Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Akshay and Vinay Sharma in the case, the court had asked them to lead witnesses in their defence.
According to the prosecution, Ram Singh, Vinay, Akshay, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh had allegedly gangraped the girl in a moving bus here. The victim died of injuries on December 29 last year while undergoing treatment in 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 sixth accused, a juvenile, faced an inquiry before the juvenile justice board here.
During recording of statement before the court, Pawan and Vinay had claimed that there were not in the bus and had gone to a music function in south Delhi.
However, accused Mukesh during his deposition had told the court that he was driving the bus in which the girl was sexually assaulted and her male friend was brutally attacked by his elder brother Ram Singh, Vinay, Pawan, Akshay and the juvenile.