| A few of the accused in police custody. File picture |
Nov. 29: Final arguments in the trial of the infamous GS Road molestation case began today. This is the last step of the trial after which the court will pronounce its judgment.
The public molestation of a young woman outside a pub on the busy GS Road on the night of July 9 this year that was later beamed on a local satellite television channel, had sparked national outrage.
Lawyers of the accused persons put forward their arguments before the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Kamrup, S.P. Moitra, here today.
Bhaskar Dev Konwar — counsel of prime accused Amarjyoti Kalita — said his argument was partly heard today and would resume tomorrow.
Bijon Kumar Mahajan and Nayan Jyoti Das — counsels of TV reporter Gaurav Jyoti Neog — filed an application for fixing another date for argument since Neog could not appear in the court today owing to the death of his mother on November 27.
Police had filed the chargesheet against 15 accused in this case in September. One of them was below 18 years and his case was forwarded to the Juvenile Justice Board while the remaining 14 are facing trial at the court of the CJM, Kamrup.
“It will take a couple of months to conclude the final arguments from both sides after which the CJM will pass the final order,” a lawyer said.
Altogether 24 prosecution witnesses were examined in this case while the defence cited no witness.
The accused persons were charged under various sections of the IPC, including 341 (wrongful restraint), 143 (unlawful assembly), 294 (obscene act), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (outraging modesty of woman), 379 (theft), 366 (kidnapping), 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment), 392 (robbery), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
The prosecution had also submitted reports of the forensic analysis of the raw footage of the incident and the voices in the video and other electronic evidences conducted at the Forensic Science Laboratory at Kahilipara and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory at Chandigarh.
A special investigation team headed by superintendent of police (operations) Ranjan Bhuyan was constituted to investigate the case (number 191/2012), that was registered at Bhangagarh police station. Additional director-general of police (CID), Mukesh Sahay, monitored the SIT probe.