The esplanade court on Friday sent three of the five accused involved in the gangrape of a 22-year-old photojournalist at Shakti Mill compound in Mahalaxmi, to further police custody till September 5.
The court rejected the application of Kasim Bangali’s lawyer that the former is a minor. Since there was ambiguity about the age of the fourth accused, the police will take a decision regarding producing him in a Juvenile Justice court, a quasi judicial body for minors in conflict with law.
The three accused presented before the esplanade court were Siraj Rehman Khan, 24, Vijay Jadhav, 20, and Kasim Bangali, 20. Moin Khan, advocate for Kasim Bangali, moved an application stating that Bangali is a juvenile as per his mother’s statement.
However, the prosecution lawyer Kiran Bendbhar contended that there were several cases in the past against the accused, where their age was not disputed by the family members. The prosecution further argued that since this is a major case, the family are coming forward to claim the accused as juveniles.
When the court asked if they had any documents to prove Bangali was a minor, Khan replied in the negative, following which the court rejected the application.
The prosecution then made an application to get further police remand to interrogate the accused, stating that investigations were at an early stage. The prosecution also stated that the last accused Mohamed Salim Ansari, 27, arrested from Delhi and who is in police custody till September 5, should be interrogated with the other accused.
Finally, the court observed that though substantial progress had been made in the case, the police needed to be given more time to investigate and remanded the accused to further police custody till September 5.
Meanwhile, some women claiming to be from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) threw eggs on the accused as they were being taken from court.