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Delhi gangrape-murder case: In-camera trial to begin today

The in-camera trial of the December 16 gangrape-murder case of a 23-year-old medical student will begin today.

All five accused in the case will be produced in the court. Also, the name of the defence lawyers of the accused would be announced today.

The court had on Monday ordered an in-camera trial and restrained media from publishing the proceedings.

Delhi gangrape-murder case: In-camera trial to begin today
One of the many protests against the December 16 gangrape that took place in a moving bus in Delhi (Pic-AFP)

Three of the five accused in the case will plead not guilty to the charges and claim trial, advocates seeking to represent them said on Tuesday.

Advocate ML Sharma, who appeared in the Metropolitan Magistrate's court on Monday and offered to defend the accused amidst protests from the Saket bar, has been engaged by prime accused Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh Singh and Akshay Kumar Singh alias Thakur.

The court had earlier taken cognisance of the chargesheet against the five accused under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gang rape), 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.

The sixth accused, who claims that he is 17, will be presented before a Juvenile Justice Board, which has already summoned his school principal to determine his exact age.

According to law, if school documents establish a minor's age as genuine, the juvenile will not be put through a medical test to confirm his age. The Delhi Police is reportedly keen for the minor to be put through a bone test to check his age.

If the controversy over his age is not resolved, then he could be directed to undergo a bone ossification test which can his approximate age.

The victim's father has demanded that the juvenile should be hanged and so should the other five accused.

The victim, a physiotherapy student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012. She died of her injuries on December 29, 2012 in the multi-specialty Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Her male friend, who was accompanying her that day, was also assaulted by the accused and both of them were thrown out of the bus. 

Media coverage

Meanwhile, journalists have urged the Delhi High Court to allow them to cover the case.

Pleading before a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain, advocate Meenakshi Lekhi told the court that journalists should be allowed to report the case for "fair and transparent trial".
 
Lekhi, representing legal journalists, said that freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right and it should not be violated. "Its their (journalists) duty to report the case, as now, its not the gangrape case. Its a case of murder."

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