Delhi gangrape trial: Tihar officials say accused broke hand due to fall

Yesterday, Vinay Sharma arrived in court with his right hand in a plaster setting off an uproar by defence lawyers over the safety of the accused.

Pallavi Polanki April 07, 2013 13:11:59 IST
Delhi gangrape trial: Tihar officials say accused broke hand due to fall

In an outright denial of the defence allegation that accused Vinay Sharma's hand was broken by other inmates, a Tihar Jail official has told the court that is hearing the Delhi gangrape case that the dislocation in his arm was due to a fall.

The four accused - Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta - are on trial for the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student and attack on her friend on the night of 16 December.

On Friday, Vinay Sharma arrived in court with his right hand in a plaster setting off an uproar by the defence over the safety of the accused. (Read full report here).

The Tihar jail administration, in its report submitted to court submitted on Saturday called the allegation "totally false, mischievous and unfounded for ulterior motive".

Delhi gangrape trial Tihar officials say accused broke hand due to fall

The court will pass its order on the application for transfer to Rohini Jail on Monday and directed the Tihar jail authorities to ensure safety and security of the inmates in the meantime. AFP

The jail superintendent of Tihar's Jail No. 7, where Vinay Sharma is lodged, informed the court that Vinay Sharma admitted to Friday evening evening that he had fallen and fractured his hand while returning from court in the police van on the evening of April 4.

As per the jail superintendent's report, "Statements of all co-accused has been recorded and CCTV footage of the night of 4.4.13 was examined to find out whether he had any fight with anybody in jail or whether anybody harmed him in jail but no such instance was noticed...Moreover, Vinay Sharma was questioned where he stated on record that the injury in his hand was due to fall in the police bus on 4.4.13 in the evening while returning from court and this has nothing to do with stay in jail."

The jail superintendent further informed the court that when the accused Vinay Sharma complained of nausea and chest pain at 6.30 pm on April 4, he was taken to the jail dispensary and then to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay hospital, where he then complained of pain in elbow. And subsequently, Vinay Sharma was taken to the Emergency Orthopedic, the jail superintendent told the court. On the following day, he was taken to G B Pant Hospital.

Contesting the jail superintendent's account, Vinay Sharma's counsel A P Singh alleged that his client was forced to sign on a blank sheet of paper and was threatened into admitting that he dislocated his hand as a result of a fall.

Earlier during the hearing in court, Vinay Sharma seeking permission from the court to speak, told the judge that he had received death threats the previous night.

Strongly objecting to the accused being allowed to make a statement before the court on the grounds that it was contrary to procedure, the prosecution said that such incidents were becoming a "daily occurrence" and that it was turning into a "mockery".

Objecting to the application by defence counsel A P Singh for transfer of the accused to Rohini Jail, jail superintendent told the court that Vinay Sharma, as per the jail manual, had been lodged in jail number 7, which is meant for adolescents, and that he was kept with inmates who were not hardened criminals.

"As per rule being adolescent prisoner, he cannot be transferred to Rohini Jail. However, one TSP personnel is deputed on his barrack round the clock and further he is kept in a barrack under round the clock CCTV surveillance," the jail superintendent informed the court in his written submission.

The court will pass its order on the application for transfer to Rohini Jail on Monday and directed the Tihar jail authorities to ensure safety and security of the inmates in the meantime.

One of the accused, Pawan Gupta meanwhile told the court he was not seeking transfer to Rohini and wished to be in Tihar.

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