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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Five-yr-old’s case brings fresh focus on gang rape trial

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 20, 2013
First Published: 01:17 IST(20/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:19 IST(20/4/2013)

The incident of a five-year-old girl being brutalised for two days and then locked up in a room has trigerred fresh outrage furore in the country which is anxiously waiting to see the perpetrators of the December 16 gang-rape being brought to justice.

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The high court, after the nation-wide protests over the December incident, had fast tracked the case and set it for day-to day hearing.

The day-to-day trial began at a special court in Saket on February 5 after it framed charges, including those of gang-rape and murder, against the five accused — Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh, the maximum punishment of which included the death sentence.

The special court holding the trial on a day-to-day basis has already recorded the statement of 66 of the 80 prosecution witnesses.

The case against the sixth accused, a juvenile, is being conducted before a juvenile justice board. He too has been charged with gang-rape and murder but the maximum punishment, that can be handed out to him under the Juvenile Justice Act is a three-month confinement at a reformation home.

The trial against Ram Singh was abated after he allegedly committed suicide in Tihar jail on March 11, 2013.The prosecution said DNA report has established the involvement of all the accused in the crime.“The crime was executed in a well-planned manner. Each one of them had a specific role in the commission of the offence. So they are equally liable for the crime. We will demand death sentence for all of them,” said a prosecutor in the case.

But the trial, which had almost reached its end, suddenly lost momentum due to delay tactics adopted by the lawyer for Mukesh, ML Sharma.  The trial court appointed a new lawyer for Mukesh on Friday to carry on with the case from Monday.


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