Dec 16 gangrape: Lawyers of 2 convicts withdraw from case

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New Delhi, Oct 8:  Two lawyers, representing death row convicts Mukesh and Pawan Kumar Gupta, today informed the Delhi High Court that they are withdrawing from the December 16 gangrape-cum-murder case on the ground of alleged interference by family members of the convicts.

Appearing for Mukesh, advocate V K Anand informed the bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani that at the instance of certain people, including advocates, the convict’s family members are interfering in his work to file the appeal in the case.

“I wanted to withdraw myself from the case as certain people are trying to interfere into my work and the court should discharge me from the work,” he said, adding that he has communicated the decision to the brother of Mukesh.

Accepting his submission, the bench said, “We can’t interfere with your decision”.
Meanwhile, special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan told the bench that advocate Vivek Sharma, who represents convict Pawan, has telephonically informed about his intention to withdraw from the case.

After the submissions of the counsel, the bench said, “In these circumstances we will have to appoint amicus curiae for Mukesh and Pawan”.

“Production warrants to be issued for production of Pawan Kumar Gupta and Mukesh before the court tomorrow,” the bench said.

Anand volunteered to assist the court in the case as amicus. However, the bench said, “This will be unfair if we will appoint you as amicus in the case.”

Two other convicts in the case, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, yesterday filed their joint appeal against the trial court’s conviction and sentencing orders of September 10 and 13, respectively. Mukesh and Pawan are yet to file their appeals.

All four of them were convicted and awarded death penalty for raping a 23-year-old victim in a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012.

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