Murder charge slapped on accused
The Delhi Police have added a fresh charge of murder against five men arrested and a juvenile detained over the December 16 gang-rape following the victim’s death. A charge sheet in the case is likely to be filed next week, the police said on Saturday.
According to Dharmender Kumar, special commissioner of police (law and order), the victim’s body was handed over to family after post-mortem conducted by a medical team in Singapore.
“The post-mortem report will be made available to us at the earliest. We have added Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code to the case and hope to file the chargesheet by January 3,” Kumar said.
Ram Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh Singh, Akshay and the juvenile, residents of Ravi Dass Camp at RK Puram sector 3, have been nabbed in the case. They already face charges under Sections 201 (destruction of evidence), 365 (kidnapping), 376-2G (gang-rape), 377 (unnatural offences) and 394 (hurting in committing robbery) of the IPC.
Kumar added that High Court lawyer Dyan Krishnan will be special public prosecutor and will carry out a day-to-day prosecution to ensure that trial is finished in short time.
“Krishnan volunteered to conduct trial in a fast-track court free of cost and will be assisted by two juniors. He has been appointed and it will be our endeavour to ensure harshest punishment to culprits,” he added.
Even after a fast-track hearing in the trial court, the case in all probability will also end up being heard in higher courts.
If convicted of murder, the accused face punishment ranging from life term to death if the crime is seen as the rarest of the rare kind. One of the accused, if determined to be a juvenile, will however not sent to the prison even if he is found guilty.
The maximum sentence for a minor is three years of confinement at a centre for juvenile offenders.
The police have appealed to public to stay calm and maintain peace during anti-gang rape protests.
“In this moment of national grief following the loss of a young and innocent life to a barbaric crime, I appeal to members of public on behalf of the Delhi Police to stay calm and maintain peace. We, in the Delhi Police, as citizens of this country are equally saddened, if not more. Our sympathy goes out to the bereaved family,” Kumar said.
A three-member commission of inquiry has already been set up under former chief justice of India Jagdish Sharan Verma to probe the incident. Verma along with justice Lalita Seth and former solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam will inquire into the entire episode as to why it happened and why it could not be prevented.