A Delhi court on Monday ordered in-camera trial of the Delhi gangrape case and restrained the media from reporting and publishing trial proceedings.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Namrita Aggarwal said, "It is the case of virtually a crowd occupying every inch of space in the court room even to the extent of standing next to the reader and stenographer."
The magisterial court took cognizance of the chargesheet on Saturday and had issued production warrants for the five accused for Monday. The matter will come up for hearing on January 10. A copy of the chargesheet has been provided to the accused.
Allowing the police plea for conducting in-camera proceedings, Aggarwal shared the apprehension raised by the public prosecutor regarding the safety of the undertrial prisoners. She quoted the Saket court complex's lock-up in-charge, who said that he was unable to bring the accused in the court for want of safe passage or room in the courtroom.
Demanding the court function as an open court, some lawyers challenged the magisterial order before District Judge (DJ) RK Gauba, seeking to lift the ban on reporting the case. DJ Gauba issued notice to the Delhi Police and put up the matter for hearing on January 9.
The 23-year-old student, who was with her male friend, was gangraped and assaulted by five men and a juvenile on a moving bus in the Capital on December 16.
The court said: "An unprecedented situation has arisen where the members of the bar and public persons even unconnected with the case have started converging in the courtroom where the matter is going on, since 12 noon. The court room has become jam-packed with lots of disturbance created from different nooks and corners."
The five accused named in the chargesheet are -- Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.
They have been charged with kidnapping, gangrape, unnatural sex, murder, attempt to murder, dacoity, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code.
The sixth accused is a juvenile.
Police officers stand outside the district court where five gangrape accused were brought to appear in New Delhi. AP Photo/Manish Swarup