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Dikshit not to stand in witness box in rape case

A fast track court hearing the 16 December gang rape case Thursday dismissed the plea of an accused to make Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit a defence witness.
Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna rejected the plea of accused Akshay Thakur saying it amounted to an abuse of the
legal process.

‘The request to summon the chief minister to prove the alleged controversy or alleged false recording of statement of the prosecutrix is nothing but an abuse of the process,’ the court said.
It also declined the request of the accused to summon sub-divisional magistrate Usha Chaturvedi as a defence witness.

Denying Thakur’s request, the judge said: ‘Prosecution witness Usha Chaturvedi has already been examined/cross-examined extensively. Hence, the request is declined.’
Thakur’s counsel while filing the list of witnesses to prove his innocence had said that there was a controversy surrounding the victim’s statement to magistrate and the manner in which it was recorded.
He submitted that he wanted Dikshit’s testimony in the case to clarify the issue.
The SDM, in December 2012, claimed that three police officers interfered with the recording of the victim’s statement. Dikshit had written to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, demanding a probe into the matter.

The court, however, allowed Thakur’s request to call as witness his family members to establish his claim that he was not in Delhi on 16 December, 2012, when the woman was gangraped by six people in a moving bus.

‘The witness... proposes to depose that accused Thakur left Delhi on 15 December, 2012 and reached his village, in his home town on 16 December, 2012,’ the court’s order said.
The accused may present any five of the witnesses — his family members — in his defence, the court said.

Thakur’s counsel had presented a list of 14 witnesses and eight documents on his behalf.  The court also considered Thakur’s request to summon CCTV footage of New Delhi Railway Station to establish his claim that he departed from Delhi on 15 December, 2012 by Maha Bodhi Express.

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