A month after the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman who later died in a Singapore hospital, the trial of five men arrested in the case was sent to a fast track sessions court on Thursday. The lawyer for one of them said he would move the Supreme Court to shift the case out of Delhi.
A sixth accused is said to be a juvenile and police are seeking permission from the Juvenile Justice Board for an ossification test to establish his age.
Metropolitan magistrate Namrita Aggarwal sent the case of gangrape-cum-murder to the special fast track court of additional sessions judge Yogesh Khanna, where it will be heard from January 21 on day-to-day basis.
The five accused — bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their friends Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh — were produced in the Saket court on Thursday for the trial committal proceedings.
Speaking to reporters outside the court — the magistrate has banned the media from reporting court proceedings in the case — lawyers for the accused said they had received copies of the chargesheet and the e-challan filed by the police.
“All documents related to the chargesheet have been supplied to us today,” advocate M L Sharma, counsel for accused Mukesh, told reporters.
V K Anand, advocate for Ram Singh, the driver of the bus in which the woman was gangraped, said he would approach the Supreme Court to get the trial transferred out of Delhi.
“They will not get a fair trial here since there is too much pressure. The trial should be shifted to any other place, except Delhi and UP,” Anand said outside the court.
Sharma, too, voiced his “apprehension” of threat to his clients. “With the pressure on the court and police, I fear that my clients’ lives are under threat. They might be killed before the trial is completed,” Sharma said.
The five men are among the six arrested for the gangrape and torture of the woman on December 16 — an incident that sparked outrage and protests across the country.
She and her male friend were assaulted after they boarded the bus at Munirka while returning home from a movie. More than an hour later, they were thrown out of the bus at Mahipalpur where they lay on the road until police vans carried them to Safdarjung hospital. The woman died of injuries at the Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore on December 29.
New measures fore women safety
At a meeting of the security commission for NCT of Delhi, chaired by L-G Tejendra Khanna, the police were directed to register all complaints of crimes against women and ensure that they are dealt properly. The L-G said there should be a zero-tolerance policy for such cases, which can also be lodged with Special CP Sudir Yadav.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Leader of Opposition V K Malhotra, founder of NGO SEWA Renana Jhabvala, police chief Neeraj Kumar were present at the meeting held on Thursday.
Decisions taken at the meeting include:
Exclusive telephone lines for women’s help desk at each police station.
All FIRs on crime against women be recorded and registered as stated by the complainant.
On last Friday of month, women groups to meet Special CP.
An open house discussion at the L-G’s office.
Police must maintain ‘respectful and civilised conduct’ while dealing with women.
Credentials of staff working in public vehicles to be checked, verified and cleared by police.
Drivers of public vehicles to have photo IDs as part of public service badges.
225 routes identified for more patrolling at night.
1,600 “dark” areas identified, orders go out for streetlights.