Dec 16 gangrape: Court fixes Aug 22 for final arguments

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) A fast track court will start hearing final arguments Aug 22 in the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape case and has allowed two accused to present more witnesses in their defence.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna on Saturday directed counsel for accused Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta to conclude their defence evidence by Monday.

Saying no fresh chance will be given to them, the court said: "I am fixing Thursday (Aug 22) for final arguments, so now conclude your (accused) evidence before it."

Filing an application, Sharma had sought to call three new witnesses in a bid to establish that the prosecution witnesses were tutored. The court allowed him to present two witnesses.

Gupta was allowed to present one fresh witness in his defence.

The court had already concluded recording statements of the defence witnesses but it said the accused should be given a last chance in the "interest of justice and for a fair trial".

The court has recorded statements of 85 prosecution witnesses.

The case relates to a 23-year-old intern physiotherapist woman who was brutally tortured and gangraped in a moving bus by five men and a juvenile, after she boarded the vehicle with her male friend.

The juvenile is facing proceedings before a Juvenile Justice Board, while the four other accused are standing trial in the fast-track court. One of the accused allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged

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