Defence lawyer for two of the four men convicted of raping and murdering a young woman in the capital on December 16, 2012, has withdrawn from the case on Tuesday, and said that the families of his clients were interfering in his work.
VK Anand, defence lawyer for Pawan Gupta, a fruit-seller and unemployed Mukesh Singh, while speaking to mediapersons outside the Delhi High Court, said that he had withdrawn from the case and the court had given a production warrant for the two convicts.
"For the past two-three days I was feeling that family members of the convicts and some lawyers were trying to interfere in my work, so I decided to withdraw myself from this case and that is why I gave a statement in the court saying I withdraw from this case, I should be discharged from this case. In response the court has issued production warrant and the convicts would be presented before the court and they would asked, which lawyer they want," Anand said.
Meanwhile, the Defence lawyer for the other two convicts, AP Singh, said that he had submitted his petition for the case in the High Court.
"In the Delhi gang rape case, I have filed the appeal on behalf of my two clients, Akshay Kumar Singh and Vinay Sharma. The proceedings were to continue on this but the defence lawyer for the other two convicts was withdrawn from their family members, so now the court has issued a production warrant for the two convicts so that they can come and choose a lawyer to fight their case," Singh said.
The four were sentenced to death early in September.
The sentencing was the climax of a seven-month trial, often held behind closed doors, that was punctuated dramatically by a fifth defendant hanging himself in his jail cell.
A sixth, who was under 18 at the time of the attack, was earlier sentenced to three years detention, the maximum allowed under juvenile law.
The four have been tried for offences under section 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 365 ( kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), and 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) of the IPC.
The case, is now in the High Court and will then move to the Supreme Court.
If the High court confirms the death sentences, the final decision will lie with the President, who has the power to grant clemency.
The 23-year-old paramedical student was raped, beaten and tortured by the six men on a moving bus on the outskirts of outer Delhi. The victim died of internal injuries in a Singapore hospital two weeks later.