Monthly Archives: January 2013
Eighteen days after the horrific gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedical student, Delhi Police on Thursday filed its charge sheet in a court here against five men arrested in the case, slapping on them murder, rape, kidnapping and other charges.
The five accused, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur have been charge sheeted for the offences of murder, gangrape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.
The sixth accused is a juvenile and proceedings against him will be conducted by the Juvenile Justice Board.
In the 33-page charge sheet, the role of the juvenile offender is also elaborated.
Police filed the charges and listed their evidence in a reportedly 1,000-page document submitted to a district court in the south of the capital, starting the process of bringing the men to trial.
The police filed the charge sheet along with bulky documents, with many in sealed covers, in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Surya Malik Grover who posted it for consideration on January
The Delhi police has sought direction for not disclosing the content of the FIR and for keeping it and other documents in sealed covers to protect the identity of the victim.
“We have filed the charge sheet against the five accused,” an investigating police officer told a magistrate hearing the case in the Saket court complex.
The victim, a medical student, was repeatedly raped and violated with an iron bar on a moving bus on December 16 as she returned from a cinema where she had watched a film with her friend.
Police said it will also place before the court the charge sheet in electronic form.
Police also urged the court to hold in-camera proceedings away from public glare.
The charge sheet was filed before the duty magistrate at 17.30 hours, 30 minutes after the normal court hours.
This prompted the judge to ask the public prosecutor for the reason behind filing the charge sheet at the late hour.
Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the investigators took time to put bulky documents along with the charge sheet in an orderly manner.
Later, he told reporters that the charge sheet will be filed against the juvenile offender shortly.
Protesters have massed across the country daily since the assault to demand the government and police take sex crimes more seriously, with tougher penalties for offenders and even chemical castration among measures being considered.
The latest incident, though far from rare in a country where gang rapes are commonplace, has led to deep soul-searching in the media and the country’s political class about the treatment of the victim.
A statement from the Delhi victim, who died at the weekend from her injuries, and an account from her friend, who was badly beaten during the attack, are expected to form crucial parts of the evidence against the five men.
A sixth suspect who is believed to be a minor aged 17 was not charged in the Saket court on Thursday. Detectives are awaiting the results of a bone test to verify his age and determine whether he can be tried in an adult court.
The next hearing has been set for Saturday. The trial has been fast-tracked to avoid the delays.
Altamas Kabir, Chief Justice of India, has cautioned against letting public anger overwhelm the due process of the law.
“Let us not get carried away. A swift trial should not be at the cost of a fair trial,” Kabir was quoted as saying in the local media on Thursday.
Lawyers at the district court in New Delhi have decided they will not defend the suspects, meaning the government will have to appoint advocates for them.
Several hundred protesters including lawyers gathered outside the court on Thursday demanding greater protection for women and improvements in the justice system.
“Why is there such a low conviction rate in India? Please judges, wake up!” said one banner.
Just 26% of the 24,206 cases of rape registered in 2011 in India resulted in a conviction, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Amid a fierce national debate about the incident, women’s rights groups have highlighted the difficulty rape victims face in dealing with social stigma and the police.
On December 28, it emerged that a 17-year-old girl had committed suicide after police allegedly tried to persuade her to drop a complaint of gang-rape and instead either accept a cash settlement or even marry one of her attackers.
Campaigners hope the December 16 attack will serve as a turning point, changing social attitudes and leading to greater sensitivity by the police.
A member of the ruling Congress party was detained in the northeastern state of Assam on Thursday after being accused of raping a girl in a remote village, police said.
In scenes played out on television channels, village women were seen stripping the lawmaker, Bikram Singh Brahma, and repeatedly slapping him.
The government has set up three separate commissions to look into the New Delhi gang-rape and suggest changes in the law, with one minister suggesting new anti-rape legislation should be named after the unidentified victim.
The brother of the victim, speaking from the family’s home village in Uttar Pradesh, said they would not object if the government wanted to name a new law after her.
“It will be like a tribute in her memory,” he told a newspaper, while also pleading that the family be left alone to grieve.
A recent poll found India to be the worst in the G20 group of nations for women because of child marriage, abuse and female foeticide, which has led to a badly skewed sex ratio in the country of 1.2 billion people.
NEW DELHI: Lawyers at a court, hearing the case of a fatal gang-rape which has shocked the nation on Wednesday said they would refuse to defend the men accused of taking part in the assault and murder.
Hearings are expected to begin on Thursday at theSaket district court in New Delhi, where police will formally present a 1,000-page charge sheet against the six-person gang.
“We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case,” Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council, said.
Kumar said the 2,500 advocates registered at the court have decided to “stay away” to ensure “speedy justice”, meaning the government would have to appoint lawyers for the defendants. Another lawyer at the court confirmed the boycott.
Five men are expected to face charges including rape, murder and kidnapping in the Saket court, with the prosecutor likely to seek the death sentence.
A sixth suspect is believed to be 17 years old, meaning he would be tried in a juveniles’ court, but police are conducting bone tests to determine his age.
The brutality and horrific nature of the attack on a 23-year-old has led to protests in the capital and elsewhere over the widespread abuse of women and sex crime.
The rape victim died at the weekend after 13-day struggle to survive injuries so grievous that part of her intestines had to be removed
Continuing with the relentless protests against the gang rape of a medical student in Delhi, women in the national capital will observe Kaala Divas today. “We will wear black top to bottom on Thursday. We will display the voice of protest on black placards. All those participating will also take an off from office,” said Shruti Kolhi, editor of petticoatjournal.com, which is spearheading the campaign.
Protesters will assemble at Jantar Mantar and march towards India Gate. “However, we haven’t got permission to go to India Gate. If we fail to get it, we will protest all day at Jantar Mantar,” said Delhi-based lawyer Sonia Raina.
Having spread the message through social media, Kohli says women from across the country have confirmed their participation in this unique form of protest. Several institutions have cancelled exams in view of Kaala Divas. The Visvesvaraya Technological University and the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board have postponed exams scheduled for January 3. The Calcutta University, Madras University and Karnataka University have promised active participation.
There are plans to take the protest further. Kolhi plans to start her community outreach programme in urban villages from Friday. “We need to admonish eve-teasers publicly and whenever a girl does that, others should support her. This is my idea of taking the protests ahead,” said Alka Priyadarshini, a Delhi-based professional.
NEW DELHI: A fast-track court to try sexual offence cases against women was inaugurated here by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir on Wednesday who advocated speedy trial of the case relating to the December 16 gang-rape of the 23-year-old girl who later died of injuries sustained .
The CJI, who justified the public reaction against the ghastly incident, said the offence could have been averted had the Supreme Court guidelines on removal of tinted glasses from the vehicles been followed.
“It’s good to know that after the December 16 tragic incident, people have started raising their voice on crime against women,” he said while expressing the hope that the fast track court at Saket district courts complex here would be operational immediately.
The CJI, however, said blame game should be avoided and the case of the paramedic, which is in the “public eye”, should be decided on fast track.
“Blame game will not serve anything. We have to go to the root of the problem. This case, which is in the public eye, should be decided as early as possible,” he said.
He also cautioned about the people’s reaction against sending the accused for trial and calling for handing them over to the public to be dealt with by saying that it is a “dangerous reaction”.
“People’s reaction has been that do not send the accused to trial. Hand them over to us, we will deal with them. Hang them. But let us not get carried away. Let us deal with the matter in a manner in which we are able to do justice as early as possible. Let us show that the judiciary is behind the common man,” he said.
The CJI said a fast track court particularly for trying sexual offences against women was not only necessary but also welcome and the government has also “woken up” to the need of fast track courts for such cases.
The CJI said he will try his level best with the administration to see that the other part of the case, that is the part before the matter comes to the court, is taken care of as quickly as possible.
Justice Kabir said four other fast track courts would be made operational in different parts of Delhi to show “we mean business in tackling matters of such nature”.
Chief justice of the Delhi high court D Murugesan said judicial officers have been identified for the fast track courts and wherever possible, cases will be taken up on a day-to-day basis.
Apart from the CJI and the chief justice of the Delhi high court, several judges of the high court and district courts were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Delhi-gang-rape-CJI-Altamas-Kabir-calls-for-speedy-trial-of-case/articleshow/17859854.cms
New Delhi: As the Delhi Police gears up to submit its chargesheet in the gangrape case before the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, a bone marrow test would be conducted to verify if the youngest accused in the case is a minor or not.
Sources said that the prosecution during the trial in a fast-track court in Saket – where the hearing in the case would begin on Thursday – would demand death penalty for the five accused. The sixth accused would be produced before a juvenile justice board once it was proved that he was a minor and could be sent to a children’s home for a maximum of three years in connection with the ghastly incident.
In its chargesheet, the police have mentioned the entire sequence of events from the time the prime accused – Ram Singh – and five others had a party at their place and then took the bus out at night just to earn a few bucks to buy more alcohol.
According to the chargesheet, the girl and her friend got into the bus at the Munirka bus stop, after which some of the accused made lewd comments and it led to an argument between the two groups. As the argument got heated, the girl and the boy were assaulted by the accused. While the boy was hit with a rod, the girl was gangraped.
After the filing of the chargesheet, the Delhi Police will try and finish the trial within a month or at the most one-and-a-half months. All the six accused in the case have been booked for dacoity, gangrape, murder and destruction of evidence.
The police will use statements of the girl and her friend, girl’s ATM cards and jewellery and the medical report which says the injuries were grievous enough to cause death as evidence in the case. The police also have the CCTV footage and forensic evidence picked up from the bus.
The WCD Ministry will forward several measures like creating women friendly public spaces, banning violent video games and zero-tolerance towards violence against elected women representatives to Justice Verma panel, Union Minister Krishna Tirath said today.
“Based on inputs given by experts, we are forwarding several suggestions related to the safety and security of women to the Justice J S Verma Commission. We will also send them to the home ministry,” the Women and Child Development Minister said here.
The Justice Verma Commission had been set up by the government to relook and examine the present laws to protect the safety and dignity of women.
The Ministry last week had held a consultation meeting where experts including civil society organisations, activists, legal experts and government representatives had provided inputs on women-related issues.
In the consultation meeting, women’s affairs activist Dr Ranjana Kumari said gender budgeting a very critical component for implementation and the the government should start the implementation of legislatures with the help of effective mechanism of gender budgeting.
Another expert Dr Mira Shiva said the Health Ministry should have a unit specifically called Gender and Health Units. She also spoke about measures like banning certain violent video games which are in clandestine circulation.
Dr V Mohini Giri from Guild for Services expressed hope in the current youth movement that it would strengthen the political will and pro-women stance of the Government. She also demanded that the WCD Ministry should be given a Cabinet status. (More)
New Delhi: More than 10 days after protests broke in the national capital in the wake of the brutal gangrape on 16 December last year, many groups and associations have joined hands to finalise suggestions to submit to the Justice Verma committee.
Following the severe protests on Delhi streets, the Justice Verma committee was formed by the government to look into the laws dealing with crimes against women and make them stringent.
Protests in New Delhi against the gangrape incident. PTI
Speedy access to justice, sensitisation of police and armed forces, lodging of FIR report in all rape cases and constant police patrolling are some of the suggestions that the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) will submit to the committee, said secretary of the organisation, Kavita Krishnan.
“In addition to ‘Justice for Women Now’ (the banner under which the organisation and other student bodies are clubbed for now), I am aware of at least five students’ groups which are not connected to any organisation but have been constantly involved in the process,” said Krishnan, who led the protests at Jantar Mantar.
“There is a lot of positive energy in youth which needs to be channelised in the right direction. We are trying to formulate a platform for that as well,” she said.
AIPWA national vice- president Jagmati Sangwan said a joint draft for legal intervention has been scripted which will be sent to the committee.
“At least 15 organisations including Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, National Federation of Indian Women, and Young Women’s Christian Association have contributed to this draft,” said Sangwan.
Both AIPWA officials said that coming under a common platform was not necessary and the same should not be a prerequisite for the government to initiate a dialogue with the civil society.
The composition of Justice Verma committee had flaws, said Sucheta De, former president, JNUSU, as it does not have any women member or an expert on women’s rights.
“Even then, we will send suggestions to the committee including our demand to consider custodial rapes, marital rapes, fast-tracking of rape cases against policemen and army personnel,” said De.
The Justice Verma committee will receive feedback till 5 January.