Court orders in-camera trial in Delhi gang-rape

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) A newly constituted fast-track court Monday ordered in-camera proceedings of the trial for the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape here.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna fixed Jan 24 for arguments on framing of charges against the accused in the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, who died 13 days after the attack.

The five of the six attackers were presented before the court by police. The case of the sixth accused, who claimed to be minor, is being heard by the Juvenile Justice Board.

The special fast track court judge upheld the previous order of a magistrate and said: "Only those who are connected with the case will stay in the courtroom. Others should vacate the court immediately."

The special judge invoking a legal provision that bars open court hearing said: "As per section 327(2) of the CrPC, the proceedings will be held in-camera, and section 327(3) prohibits anyone from publishing and printing the proceedings."

"I am upholding the same order passed by the metropolitan magistrate," the judge said, referring to the earlier decision of a magistrate to restrain media from reporting the court proceedings.

Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan and Delhi Police counsel Rajiv Mohan along with the investigating officer pleaded for in-camera trial of the case.

Defence lawyers V.K. Anand and R.P. Singh said that media should not be restrained from reporting the proceedings as the denial may result in misreporting.

Police filed the charge sheet against the five men Jan 3, accusing them of murder and gangrape, among other charges.

Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur were charged with gang-raping and brutally assaulting the woman in a moving bus. The victim died in a Singapore hospital Dec 29.