Rapist moves SC seeking "fair" trial outside Delhi

One of the six accused in the 16 December ghastly rape that led to the death of a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi has now approached the Supreme Court pleading that the trial of the case may be shifted out of Delhi so that they get a ''fair'' trial.

Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gang-rape and unnatural offences, says that free and fair hearing is not possible in Delhi because of strong public sentiment against him.

With the public and the Delhi administration slamming the insensitive approach of the Delhi Police, Mukesh submitted in his petition that the police and judicial officials are now under pressure to pass an order according to the demand 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 state are not spared and in these circumstances, he cannot get justice in Delhi at all,'' advocate M L Sharma said in the petition filed for Mukesh.

''The case has been assigned to the fast track court, which is going to start from January 21 and due to media reports and agitations conducted by the media and others 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. Therefore, the petitioner has filed the petition for transfer,'' it said.

''Due to media trial and day-to-day agitation, the subject matter has gone into the root of each house in Delhi. Petitioner's counsel is also under serious threat and even in the court room he has been declined to be heard properly,'' the petition said, seeking transfer of the criminal case to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

The Supreme Court itself had recently observed that women in Delhi are not safe.

Meanwhile, protesters are back on the streets of the capital even as Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit attacked the Delhi Police for its insensitive approach that has bred lack of faith in the people towards the force.

Dikshit acknowledged that people ''shy away'' from helping others who are in distress because they feel that they will be ''harassed'' by the police, and asked the force to change its attitude and style of functioning. She felt that the force personnel should behave as ''gentleman'' police at the need of hour.

''... The systems need to be changed and judicial system needs to be changed and bureaucratic system needs to be changed but it has to be thought out. But please remember it is not going to happen tomorrow,'' she told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate programme on CNN-IBN.

''Fault lies with Police. I don't know. I have not minced my words (in saying) where the failure of this has come (from). In fact, I have not overtly but covertly criticised this.

''It is not my job to appoint a Police Commissioner or take him away. It is the job of the Home Ministry and I am sure they will do something,'' she said in reply to a question on who was at fault for the incident.

Dikshit, while ''fully sympathising'' with the anger and anguish of the people, said such mass protests were a challenge to politicians, bureaucracy, judiciary, police and to everybody.