SC to hear plea for transfer of Delhi rape case outside city

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India will today hear a petition of one of the six accused in the 16 December gang rape of a young woman on a Delhi bus that led to her death, that his trial be transferred outside Delhi.

Accused Mukesh Singh's lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma made an urgent mentioning of the matter on Monday. Sharma said his client wanted the transfer on the grounds that free and fair hearing was not possible in Delhi due to strong public sentiment against him.

In his transfer petition, Mukesh claimed that the police and judicial officials in the capital were under tremendous pressure due to regular protests in the city. He expressed his apprehension that a fair hearing was impossible as the protestors were already demanding the death sentence for them.

He sought transfer of the case to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh or Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gang-rape and unnatural offences, submitted in his petition that in view of the regular agitation, police and judicial officials are allegedly under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators.

"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 said.