Eighteen days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gang-raped in a moving bus, the Delhi Police on Thursday filed the charge-sheet against five persons arrested in the case before a Duty Magistrate in Saket district courts here.
Besides murder, rape and kidnapping, the police also slapped charges of unnatural sex, dacoity, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence among other offences under the Indian Penal Code against the accused.
While the sixth person allegedly involved in the case is presently being treated as a minor, his age will be ascertained through a bone ossification test.
While submitting the charge-sheet before Duty Magistrate Surya Malik Grover, the police moved two applications seeking in-camera proceedings and keeping the sensitive documents in a sealed cover pleading that it was necessary for protecting the identity of the victim.
The charge-sheet — filed against driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh — comprising nearly 30 pages of operative part and annexed documents running into hundreds of pages reconstructs the sequence of events leading up to the incident, from the victim’s visit to a Saket mall along with her male friend on the fateful night.
Statements of the victim and her male friend have been attached revealing that they reached the Munirka bus shelter in an auto-rickshaw on December 16 and then boarded the contract carriage bus in which three of the six persons passed lewd remarks at the victim that led to an altercation between them and her male friend. In the ensuing scuffle, the victim’s male friend attacked one of the accused.
Subsequently the accused assaulted him with an iron rod, dragged the victim to the rear portion of the running bus and raped her. She resisted and bit Ram Singh, Vinay and the juvenile delinquent. The accused then assaulted her with an iron rod several times injuring her seriously, before dumping her and her male friend near the Mahipalpur flyover.
In his statement, the victim’s friend alleged that the accused tried to run the bus over them. Accused Ram Singh washed the bus clean in a bid to destroy evidence, but the police have managed to collect blood samples and hair of the victim from the bus. He had also allegedly burned his own clothes.
A scrutiny of the mobile phone records of the victim revealed that while she was being assaulted, two calls made to her were received by the accused, who later robbed her of the mobile phone, an ATM card and her jewellery besides Rs.1,000 in cash.
Meanwhile, during the court proceedings on Thursday, Arjun Natarajan, an advocate offered to be appointed as amicus curiae if no other lawyer comes forward to represent the five accused in the gang-rape case.
“The process of engaging a panel lawyer from the Delhi Legal Services Authority could take at least three days. Considering the fact that we are looking forward to a day-to-day basis, I offered to volunteer as someone who is not a party to the case as this may save some precious time,” said Mr. Natarajan.