Two rape accused eye approver route for escape
A view of the Saket District Court in New Delhi where the fast track court started the trial in the Delhi gang-rape case. File photo | PTI
A view of the District Court complex at Saket, which houses the fast track court set up to try the Delhi gang-rape case. File photo | PTI

Two accused in the Delhi gang-rape case on Sunday told a court here that they wished to become prosecution witnesses while two others pleaded for legal aid to help in their defence. But the police said they were not taking the offer to turn approver seriously as they have doubts about the reliability of the accused.

Four of the accused were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler in her chamber after expiry of their 14 days of judicial custody. Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma refused the services of legal aid counsel and expressed their willingness to become witnesses. The two other accused, Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, have asked for legal aid counsel.

The magistrate extended the judicial remand of all four till January 19. Prosecutors are known to accept pleas of the accused to turn approver and seek pardon for them when their testimony helps to bolster the prosecution in a case where the crime is not heinous and the role of the accused in the offence is relatively minor.

Reacting to the two accused expressing willingness to turn approver, a senior police officer said: “Even if they turn approver, it does not change our position right now, nor would it affect the outcome of the case vis-à-vis their culpability. They will be awarded commensurate punishment if held guilty along with others. It is during the proceedings before the court concerned that their applications would come up for hearing,” the officer said, adding the police had prepared a watertight case on the basis of scientific evidence and witness statements.

Police say father didn’t consent to reveal name

Amid reports that the father of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student, who succumbed to her injuries after she was gang-raped on December 16, wishes the world to know his daughter’s name, he is learnt to have denied having given any such consent.

“We contacted him on the phone on Sunday and enquired about it. He has categorically denied that he had given his approval to make his daughter’s name public. We had a conversation with him on Saturday also, during which he reiterated that his daughter’s name should not be revealed,” said a senior police officer.

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