Accepting a request for urgent hearing, the Supreme Court will on Tuesday take up a petition by one of the six accused in the December 16 gangrape case. In his petition, Mukesh has demanded that the trial be shifted to a state other than Delhi as the public sentiment in the capital has led to a “bias” against him.
On Monday, a bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir directed the registry to list the petition. The counsel for Mukesh had pleaded for immediate hearing since the trial was being initiated by the fast-track court.
“Let the petition be heard urgently. Due to the media and other factors, public sentiment against the accused have entered each and every house. Hence, free and fair trial was not possible in these circumstances. The fast-track court is also initiating the proceedings and, hence, it should be immediately listed,” advocate M L Sharma said.
Mukesh has been charged with murder, gangrape and unnatural offences in the case.
Sharma also asked for a stay or a “status quo” in the fast-track court until Mukesh’s petition was decided, but the bench turned down his request, saying it will hear him on merits on Tuesday.
The advocate claimed that the trial court judges were not paying heed to his requests of security for Mukesh and for age-determination test on one of the accused.
In a petition that termed the magistrate as “biased” and the judiciary “under pressure” to pass adverse orders against him, Mukesh has sought transfer of the case outside Delhi.
“...In these circumstances, petitioner cannot get justice in Delhi at all. Due to regular agitation, police as well as judicial official are under pressure to pass an order according to the demand of the agitators,” the petition said.
The petition claimed that some adverse comments from Delhi High Court and Supreme Court judges had also affected the mind of the trial court judge and, therefore, Mukesh cannot get a fair trial.
“Local police authorities, jail authorities and the public prosecutor have conducted themselves in a manner, which is reflecting a total bias and prejudice against the accused,” the petition said.