One of the accused in the December 16, 2012, gang- rape of a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in the national capital was reportedly poisoned inside the Tihar jail on Wednesday and is currently in hospital.
The accused, 20-year-old Vinay Sharma, is currently undergoing treatment at the Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP). Sharma’s lawyer A P Singh has alleged that Sharma’s food was poisoned by jail authorities over the past few weeks.
Also, Sharma was routinely beaten up inside the jail by other inmates, he claimed. Singh said that Sharma is in a critical condition and is vomiting blood.
On May 4, he was admitted to a hospital near the Tihar jail, but after subsequent court orders to jail authorities to ensure proper treatment to Sharma, he was shifted to LNJP.
Sharma’s lawyer had appealed to the court earlier that a medical board be constituted to examine Sharma as he was being poisoned as part of a conspiracy.
“My client is being given sweet poison,” he had said.
In April, Sharma had claimed that he was being assaulted in Tihar, and had fractured his hand.
Following this, the court examined CCTV footage of the jail premises provided by the jail authorities and found that no such incident happened.
The jail authorities had rejected the allegations made by the accused and said Sharma was injured as a result of a fight between him and co-accused person Akshay Singh in a van while returning from court.
The main accused, bus driver Ram Singh, was found hanged in his cell in the same prison in March.
Although an inquiry ruled he had committed suicide his lawyers allege that he was murdered.
Vinay Sharma is one of the four adults accused in the case.
The fifth accused in the case, who is aged 17, is being tried in a juvenile court. The defendants have all entered not-guilty pleas and their lawyers have accused police of torturing the defendants to obtain confessions.
Prosecutors say they have DNA evidence linking the defendants to the attack in which the student and a male companion were assaulted on a bus as it was driven around the city, having been picked up after a trip to the cinema.
The case led to months of soul-searching over widespread sexual crime in India, and resulted in tougher laws to punish rapists. Singh said the judge hearing the case at a special fast-track court in the city had Tuesday dismissed his plea that Sharma be granted bail on “humanitarian rounds”.
“The judge dismissed the bail application but he has allowed my client’s family to visit him,” Singh said. The family of the 23-year-old victim has demanded the death penalty for all the accused.