ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Delhi gang-rape suspects to appear in court tomorrow
Publication Date : 06-01-2013
Five men accused of the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student that shocked India will appear in court for the first time tomorrow to hear charges against them ranging from murder and rape to destruction of evidence.
Metropolitan magistrate Namrita Aggarwal issued summons to Ram Singh, 33, his brother Muk-esh, 26, and their alleged accomplices Pawan Gupta, 19, Vinay Sharma, 20 and Akshay Thakur, 28, to be in a Delhi court.
Public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan told the court that the "death summary" from Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital was corroborated by the reports from the Delhi hospital.
Explaining why the murder charge was being brought against the accused, he said the complications were a result of injuries caused by an iron bar.
Mohan said the woman had died last weekend of "septicemia, or blood poisoning, from multi-organ failure due to multi-organ injuries" after she was repeatedly raped and violated with an iron bar.
A sixth male accused, identified as a minor, has been ordered to appear in the Juvenile Justice Board tomorrow.
The victim died at Mount Elizabeth Hospital on December 29 after a two-week struggle to survive her many injuries.
The woman, who was with a male friend at the time of the attack, was gang-raped and beaten on the bus before being stripped and thrown out on the street.
Indicating the presence of strong evidence against the accused, the public prosecutor revealed that they had recovered the rods used in the attack against the girl and her friend.
The police also have obtained a statement from the woman's friend as well as forensic evidence.
At the district court in south Delhi yesterday, the magistrate said that she had "taken cognisance of the case". She was expected to transfer the case to a separate fast-track court set up specifically to deal with the trial.
Mohan said: "The blood of the victim tallied with the stains found on the clothes of the accused," Mohan said.
"We are relying on the statements of the victim and her male friend," he added.
He said the accused had tried to destroy evidence by burning the victims' clothes.
The blood stains found on the burnt pieces of clothes had matched the blood samples of the victims, he added.
They also matched the blood of the victims with the stains found on the clothes of the accused, he said.
The magistrate, on the prosecution's plea to ensure the protection of the name and identity of the gang-rape victim, also ordered that documents with the victim's name be kept sealed until required.
Copies of the charge sheet which will be given to the accused, has the letters "XYZ" in place of the victim's name
As details of the crime continue to be revealed, demands are also growing for the authorities to lower the age of a juvenile under the criminal justice system.
This has been triggered following reports that the minor accused of being involved in the gang-rape was the most brutal of the lot.
The Congress party and many state governments have supported lowering the age from 18 currently down to 16.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the government was studying the issue.