Court summonses Tihar Jail superintendent

delhi-high-courtThe fast track court hearing Delhi gang rape case has directed a Tihar Jail official to be personally present in the court Saturday to explain how accused Vinay Sharma fractured his hand and if any action had been taken on his allegations that he had been beaten up.

Sharma arrived in court Friday with a fractured hand and his counsel said jail inmates and police beat him up as he wanted to appear for an Indian Air Force (IAF) recruitment exam.

Additional session judge Yogesh Khanna also asked the superintendent of Jail number 7 to explain how Sharma was beaten up inside the jail last night and whether any further action is taken on that incident.

Asking the superintendent to file report how Sharma got his hand fractured, the court directed that he should “ensure security and safety of all the four accused”.

In the order the court said: “It is directed that complete medical examination of accused including X-ray should be done and brought to the court tomorrow (Saturday) also.”

It also asked jail superintendent to file a reply whether the accused can be shifted to Rohini Jail in wake of the incident.

The court’s direction came after Vinay’s counsel moved application saying accused should be shifted from Tihar Jail to Rohini or Patiala House court to ensure their safety.

The court was concerned about the safety of four accused saying he had earlier directed the jail authorities to ensure security and safety of the accused after the main accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in his cell in the jail on March 11.

However, the court observed that Sharma’s elbow was fractured “due to a fall”, while referring to the medical report of GB Pant Hospital in New Delhi.

Sharma’s counsel AP Singh, filing the application, also asked the court that a FIR be registered against those who beaten up Vinay.

Counsel, during the hearing, told the court that “Tihar Jail inmates and police beat up Sharma and broke his right hand so that he could not give his exam”.

Sharma was to appear April 7 for an IAF exam for vacancies of clerks.

His counsel told the court that the inmates had said to Sharma: “You want to give the exam? You will write the exam with your right hand. We will break your hand.”

Singh requested the court to summon Tihar Jail’s superintendent to explain the incident. He also sought a transfer of the trial and asked that the accused be kept away from Delhi Police.

Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan also requested the court to summon the jail’s superintendent in court.

“It troubles me greatly. It is my duty to ensure a fair trial. I am also disturbed (with the incident),” Krishnan added.

Meanwhile, police, filing their reply on Sharma’s interim bail application, opposed his plea.

Police said that the accused was booked for serious allegations and he can “jump the bail”. It however said that can go to the exam centre in police custody and it has no objection in that.

Sharma moved a plea saying he has to appear in IAF exam, so he should be allowed two days interim bail to prepare and give the exam.

(Source: PTI)

 

Delhi HC dismisses plea for translated documents

The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed the plea of two of the four accused in the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape case, seeking Hindi translation of certain documents including the conviction and sentence orders.

A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani rejected the plea saying the language of the courts here is English and a translated version is provided only in cases where court proceedings are recorded in a different language.

It observed that the plea was filed to “delay” the hearing of the appeal.

At one instance, the court said: “If you go on trying to delay the case, the court will have the feeling that you don’t have any case.”

Accepting the arguments of the Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan, that all the accused in the case have been provided with a translated copy during the trial at the lower court, the bench posted the matter for Nov 1.

It said: “It seems that this application is only a methodology adopted to protract the hearing of the appeal. No effort have been made to remove objections in the appeal, although ample time is granted to file the appeal.”

During the hearing, the bench also asked counsel M.L. Sharma, appearing for Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, who were among the four accused who were convicted by the trial court and received the death sentence, that “if you go on like this, feeling will come in the mind of court that you want to delay the case. You want this feeling to come in court’s mind?”

“If you do not want to delay the appeal why don’t you get the documents translated? If you want justice, you argue on the case,” the bench said.

The court’s remark came after Sharma said that it is the court’s duty to direct the prosecution to supply the Hindi translated copy of judgments.

The bench was hearing the trial court’s reference for confirming the death sentence to four convicts in the Dec 16 gang-rape case.

The lawyer had moved the application seeking the Hindi version of the First Information Report, the charge sheet, evidence, the Sep 10 conviction judgment and the Sep 13 sentence order.

The trial court Sep 13 awarded the death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay Thakur, 28, Pawan Gupta, 19, and Vinay Sharma, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

Awarding death penalty to the four, the court has said that their “hair-rising beastly and unparalleled behaviour” definitely qualified this as one of the “rarest of rare cases” that deserved the death sentence.

A 23-year-old student of physiotherapy was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.

The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was, Aug 31, sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

 

(Source:Indo-Asian New Service)

Lawyer seeks judge’s recusal in Delhi gang rape case

Karnataka gang-rapeA lawyer representing two convicts in the Dec 16 gang rape Wednesday sought recusal of a Delhi High Court judge from hearing the case, contending that the judge had earlier denied him relief in the case. The judge, however, rejected the plea.

M.L. Sharma, who will be appearing for convicts Pawan Gupta and Mukesh, asked Justice Pratibha Rani to recuse herself from hearing the case as in April she had dismissed his plea for quashing the FIR against the accused persons on various grounds.

Sharma told the division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani that he has filed Vakalatnama on behalf of two convicts and will now represent Pawan and Mukesh.

Advocates V.K. Anand and Vivek Sharma who were representing the two convicts withdrew from the case Oct 8.

Justice Rani, however, rejected Sharma’s contention saying she will not recuse herself from the case and he can move a petition seeking transfer of the case.

“Change of counsel doesn’t mean change of bench,” said Justice Rani.

“If you want the bench should be changed, file an petition for transfer before the Chief Justice. There is no question of a bench partner to recuse from hearing the case…There is nothing personal. Unless it is taken away by the Chief Justice, we will not change,” the judge said.

The bench Tuesday issued fresh warrants against two of the four men who have been awarded the death penalty in Dec 16, 2012, gang rape case and asked them to appear before court Oct 9.

A 23-year-old woman was brutally raped on a moving bus by a gang of six men, including a juvenile. The attackers then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, without clothes, to die by roadside on a cold December night. The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.

The court posted the matter for hearing Oct 21.

One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail while the juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.

The trial court Sep 13 awarded death sentence to Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20), and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.

 

Under the law, a trial court has to refer each death penalty case to the high court for confirmation of the punishment.

(Source:IANS)

Delhi HC allows media to cover Dec 16 gangrape case trial

The Delhi High Court allowed media to cover the day-to-day proceedings of the trial in the December 16 gang-rape case, which was being heard behind closed doors till date.

Setting aside the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, heading the fast track court, on January 22 restraining media from covering the trial, Justice Rajiv Shakdher said, “The (trial) court will allow access to one representative journalist of each of the accredited national dailies.”

Allowing the plea of a group of accredited journalists from the High Court, the judges, “The reporters of other national dailies shall share their stories with the representatives of other newspapers and members of the electronic media.”

The court, however, asked the media not to disclose the name of the victim or any of her family members, saying, “The reporting shall not disclose the names of the victim or those of the members of the family of the victim or the complainant or witnesses cited in the proceedings.”

“The reportage shall exclude the part of the proceedings which the trial court specifically so directs,” according to it.

The High Court also hoped that the media will confine its reporting to the news and will not transgress into areas in the trial court’s domain.

“It is hoped that reportage will confine itself to the news as it is, and not transgress into the areas which are in the domain of the court. There is a thin, but a clean and distinct line dividing the two which if respected will augur well for institutional integrity,” the court observed.

The High Court also set aside the Delhi Police’s January 5 advisory which had said the proceedings in the case cannot be reported as the lower court had already taken cognisance of the charge sheet.

The 23-year-old victim was gang-raped in a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16 last year. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

Delhi gangrape: Singapore doctor deposes as witness

Today in Delhi High court a testified as prosecution witness through video conferencing of December 16 Gang rape victim, will be submitted by the doctor (who had conducted the post mortem examination) of  Singapore hospital

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, who is heading the fast track court set up to try cases of sexual offences, recorded the statement of Dr Paul Chui, Senior Consultant (forensic pathology) at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Chui’s examination concluded after he was crossexamined by the counsel appearing for five accused.

The court, which is hearing in-camera proceedings in the case on day-to-day basis, has fixed tomorrow for recording of evidence of another doctor who had treated the girl at the Singapore hospital.

The victim was airlifted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital on December 27, 2012 for further treatment on the advice of a team of doctors from Safdarjung hospital here after 10 days of the incident.

The girl, however, had died on December 29, 2012 in the hospital as a result of the grievous injuries she had suffered when she was sexually assaulted by six people, one of whom has been declared as a juvenile and is facing trial before the Juvenile Justice Board.

The five adult accused who are facing trial in the case are bus driver Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Singh.

The details of the proceedings cannot be reported by the media as the court has imposed a ban on it under the law.

Delhi gang-rape case: Two doctors testify

Two Safdarjung Hospital doctors, who were part of the team that treated last year’s Dec 16 gang-rape victim, testified in a Delhi court Tuesday. They were also cross-examined by defence counsel.

The fast track court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna also recorded the statements of two magistrates, who were part of the judicial proceedings relating to the identification of the accused.

Statements were also noted by the court for identifying the stolen articles of the victim and her male friend, who were attacked in a moving bus in south Delhi.

The 28-year-old male friend of the victim who was gang-rapped by five men and a juvenile is expected to be cross-examined by the defence Feb 15.

He will be cross-examined by counsel for accused bus driver Ram Singh and co-accused Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh.

The court has prepared a list of 39 prosecution witnesses, including the victim’s male friend for examining them by Feb 22.

The fast track court started day-to-day trial in the case after it framed charges of murder, gang-rape and kidnapping, among others, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against five of the six accused.

The case of the sixth accused, a minor, is being heard by the Juvenile Justice Board.

The court had earlier restricted media from reporting the proceedings in the case and ordered in-camera trial.

The 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist died Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital.

Gangrape: Case fixed for Jan 14 for scrutiny of documents

In Delhi For the scrutiny of documents filed with the charge sheet in the case of the December 16 gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old girl, a court has fixed a date which is January 14.

The five accused — bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur — were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal, who conducted the proceedings in-camera.

The five accused are at present in judicial custody. The case of the sixth accused – a minor – is being heard by a Juvenile Justice Board.

The victim, a paramedical student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus here on the night of December 16, 2012 and she died of injuries on December 29 in a Singapore hospital.

The court on January 5 had taken cognisance of the charge sheet against five of the accused yesterday under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 394 (hurting in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) and 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the court issued notice to the Delhi Police to file its response on an allegation by an advocate that the police and the Safdarjung Hospital were “negligent” in dealing with the case and the victims.

Order on in camera trial, media restraint in rape case upheld

A petition which challenged the order for in camera hearing and a ban on media reporting of the December 16 gangrape case was dismissed on Wednesday by the district judge who said it was “mandatory” to hold in camera proceedings in a case of rape and related offences, and that the magistrate had been “duty bound” to pass such an order.

A revision petition had been filed on Tuesday before district judge R K Gauba challenging the order invoking Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal.

The petitioners claimed that the day the accused were being produced, the Saket courtroom had a crowd because a large number of policemen were present there.

But according to the district judge Gauba, “the premise on which the grievance is raised stems from an erroneous understanding of the statutory rule”.

Gauba also mentioned, “The petitioners seek to question the order of the magistrate on facts. I am afraid this is not permissible as the judicial order is sacrosanct and cannot be questioned on factual aspects in the manner sought to be done.”

Aggarwal had passed the orders for in camera proceedings in the case after the prosecution said that the presence of the large number of lawyers, mediapersons and other people raised “apprehension about the safety of the undertrial prisoners”.

The district judge had asked police to reply to the petition filed by advocates D K Mishra and Poonam Kaushik who sought to set aside of the orders of the magistrate.

During arguments in court, Mishra said the media could not be barred from reporting the proceedings in the case as the “entire country wants to know what is happening in this case”.

In a reply filed on behalf of the Delhi Police, special public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the petition, which sought relief against a provision of procedural law, was not maintainable.

“The magistrate was within her rights, rather duty bound, to apply provisions contained in section 327(2) and (3) (in camera trial of rape cases) CrPC to the proceedings before her. .. I do not find any error, impropriety or illegality in the impugned order,” Gauba said.

Victim’s family for open court hearing

Ballia (UP): The family of the 23-year-old gangrape victim on Wednesday favoured an open court hearing in the case and said this would enable information to reach the people.

“They (general public) would otherwise not come to know of the developments and this might weaken the people’s anger, and the agitation going on against the rape and demands for a strict anti-rape law,” her family said.

 

PTI