The drama unfolded before a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir when the court was about to rise for the lunch break. Since the bench was supposed to sit until 1 pm, it was understood that the petition by advocate M L Sharma, on behalf of accused Mukesh, will not be taken up for hearing on Tuesday.
Mukesh has sought transfer of trial to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh or any state outside Delhi, citing fears of not getting a fair trial because of the media pressure and attitude of the state.
Sharma requested the bench to urgently hear the matter since a fast track court has initiated legal proceedings. Cutting him short, another lawyer V K Anand, who also represents some of the other accused in the case, claimed that Sharma did not merit an audience in the matter because Mukesh had chosen him as his lawyer.
Sharma hit back saying Anand’s arguments were “baseless”, that he could not be allowed to jump into the fray on the basis of frivolous claims. Anand, however, said he had a “valid” vakalatnama to prove that Mukesh had engaged him to appear in the case.
While the two lawyers levelled allegations at each other, the bench said it would hear them only on Wednesday and they could put forth all their contentions then. On Monday, the court had accepted Sharma’s request for urgent hearing of the transfer petition and directed the registry to list the matter. Mukesh is one of the six accused of raping a woman on a moving bus on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.