Junking claims by two of the six accused in the sensational December 16 Delhi gangrape case, the 23-year-old victim's male friend today told a special court that both Mukesh and Vinay Sharma were in the bus when the incident took place.
During the cross examination of the victim's friend, the counsel for Mukesh contended before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna that they were not involved in the gangrape and had neither beaten the youth nor had robbed them.
Vinay, another accused in the case, claimed that he was not in the bus that fateful night and was at a music function in South Delhi.
The victim's friend, a 28-year-old software engineer, refuted the contentions of Mukesh and Vinay, saying he had identified the bus and even the accused who were present in it that night.
"It is wrong to suggest that accused Mukesh was not sitting on the driver's seat when I entered the bus. I had already identified the accused who was sitting on the driver's seat at the time of my entering the bus.
"It is wrong to suggest that accused Vinay was not present inside the bus at the time of the incident," the victim's friend said.
Mukesh along with five others, including a juvenile, had allegedly gangraped a girl in a moving bus here on the night of December 16, 2012. The girl had later died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
During the proceedings, the counsel also claimed that Mukesh has nothing do with the present case and he was falsely implicated at the instance of Delhi police and also because he was the brother of the main accused Ram Singh, who was found dead in his prison cell on March 11.
The victim's friend, however, refuted Mukesh's contention and said, "It is wrong to suggest that Mukesh was shown to me by the police in the police station before Test Identification Parade (TIP) or for that reason I had identified him in the TIP...
"... or that the photographs of accused Mukesh were shown prior to the TIP or that I had framed him because he is brother of accused Ram Singh (dead) or that he was framed at the instance of the police or that Mukesh was the only person among the accused person who knew driving."
The defence counsel said the victim's friend was deposing falsely as it not possible for a vehicle driver to change his seat when the bus was moving at high speed.
The counsel also alleged that all the accused in this case have been falsely implicated and the youth came to know the names of the accused persons and was able to identify them by their face only because the police had informed him.
This allegation of the counsel was also refuted by the witness, who said, "It is wrong to suggest that I came to know the names of the accused person only after Ram Singh was arrested or that I was not aware of their names prior to the arrest of Ram Singh.
"It is wrong to suggest that there was no light in the bus or that I did not see the face of any accused person or that I do not know about the incident or as to how it happened or how the girl was injured."
Vinay, Akshay, Pawan and Mukesh are facing trial in the case, while the proceedings against accused Ram Singh have abated after he died on March 11. The sixth accused is facing proceedings before a Juvenile Justice Board.
Meanwhile, the court today directed the hospital to submit medical report by tomorrow regarding Vinay's health, who is not keeping well since May 6.
His counsel sought interim bail on the ground that he be shifted to another hospital so that better treatment is given to him.
His lawyer said he was apprehensive about the well being of his client, saying Vinay fell sick while in judicial custody and alleged that the jail authorities were not doing anything for the security and health of the inmates.