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Gang-rape case: SC agrees to hear plea for shifting trial

Advocate for accused pleads that free and fair hearing is not possible in Delhi because of strong public sentiment against them

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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea of one of the six accused in the December 16 gang-rape and murder case for shifting the to a place outside Delhi.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir listed the matter for tomorrow after the advocate for accused Mukesh pleaded for an urgent hearing on the ground that free and fair hearing is not possible here because of strong public sentiment against him.

Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gang-rape and unnatural offences, submitted in his petition that in view of regular agitation, police and judicial officials are allegedly under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators and fair hearing is not possible.

"The sentiment has gone into the root of each home in Delhi by which even the judicial officers and the state are not spared and in these circumstances, he cannot get justice in Delhi at all," the petition, filed through his advocate, said.

The case has been assigned to the fast track court where the day-to-day proceedings will begin from today.

The petition said that "due to media reports and agitations and due to political statements and personal interest shown by the chief minister as well as various cabinet ministers, judiciary is under pressure to work against the petitioner".

The accused has sought transfer of the case to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

There are six accused in the case including a juvenile.

The five other accused -- Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur -- have been charge with the offences of murder, gang-rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under IPC.

All the accused had gangraped the 23-year-old student in a moving bus on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

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