Pre-trial in gang-rape case to begin on Monday

Five accused to be summoned to court; victim’s blood samples tally with stains on clothes of accused

Updated - November 16, 2021 10:37 pm IST

Published - January 05, 2013 04:15 pm IST - New Delhi

People pay tribute to the Delhi gang-rape victim, demanding a strong law against rape cases, in New Delhi. On Monday, copies of the charge sheet would be supplied to the accused. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

People pay tribute to the Delhi gang-rape victim, demanding a strong law against rape cases, in New Delhi. On Monday, copies of the charge sheet would be supplied to the accused. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

A court here on Saturday took cognisance of the >charge sheet filed by the police in the Delhi gang rape case and issued production warrants to summon the five accused from the Tihar Central Jail on Monday to commence pre-trial proceedings.

Additional Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan told the court that the Delhi Central Forensic Science Laboratory’s DNA report indicated that the victim’s blood samples tallied with the blood stains on the clothes of all the accused. A piece of the victim’s dress, which one of the accused had burnt, was recovered from the ashes at his instance, and blood stains on it tallied with her blood sample.

Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said that prima facie offences under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376(2)(g) (gang rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 365 (kidnapping), 394 (causing hurt in committing robbery), 395 (dacoity), 396 (dacoity with murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120B (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) and 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the Indian Penal Code were made out against all the accused.

On Monday, copies of the charge sheet would be supplied to Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Pawan Kumar, Akshay Singh and Vinay Sharma. The committing of the case to the sessions fast-track court would depend on the time taken for scrutiny of documents.

The sixth accused is being treated as a >juvenile and the investigating officer is expected to appear before a Juvenile Justice Board on Monday afternoon.

After filing an electronic copy of the charge sheet in court, Mr. Mohan said statements of the physiotherapy student and her male friend, the DNA report furnished by CFSL, Delhi, and medical records from Safdarjung Hospital supported the charges that the Delhi Police wanted framed against the accused. The girl died due to septicaemia arising from multiple organ failure caused by multiple injuries. The death summary submitted by the Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, was correlated by Safdarjung Hospital, where she had been treated till December 26.

Mr. Mohan said the charges of dacoity, dacoity with murder, and causing hurt while committing robbery on December 16 last were supported by the fact that the accused were more than five in number and articles they robbed from the two victims were recovered at their own instance.

The charge sheet, which names 80 witnesses and contains a list of 12 items of evidence, was ordered to be kept sealed upon the prosecution request to protect the girl’s identity.

Mr. Mohan later told journalists that the post-mortem report was expected by January 20 and it would reveal the “brutality of the crime and the manner in which it was committed.” The police were waiting for a report on tooth bites inflicted by the girl on three of the accused while she fought to save herself.

The police would take some more time to file the charge sheet against the juvenile accused as the court concerned would first go through the bone ossification test report and related documents to be sure of his age, the prosecutor said.

Make public victim’s details: plea

Meanwhile, a man in saffron robes, claiming to be the founder of an organisation for rape victims, moved an application in the same court praying that details of the victim be made public and the copies of the charge sheet be supplied to the media.

When Mr. Mohan asked him what his locus was to intervene in the matter, he told the magistrate: “I am a citizen of India and the girl who was gang-raped and murdered was a daughter of the nation. Her male friend had appeared on television yesterday [Friday]. So there is nothing to hide now.”

The prosecutor sought dismissal of the application and informed the court that a case had been lodged against the news channel which aired the interview of the male friend.

The police faced embarrassment in court when they pointed out to the magistrate that the most important charge — Section 302 — was inadvertently left out on the cover page of the charge sheet. The prosecutor said it was a “typographic error” but other parts of the charge sheet mentioned the murder charge and he offered to move a fresh application to correct the error. The magistrate said this was not necessary and the charge sheet would be read as a whole.

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