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Court orders in-camera hearing in gangrape-murder case after overcrowding

New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI): The Delhi court hearing the December 16 gang-rape-cum-murder case on Monday ordered proceedings to be carried out in-camera following overcrowding of the court-room and an argument between lawyers over whether the accused should be represented.

For the first time since the accused were arrested, a lawyer came forward to defend them, defying resolutions taken by several bodies representing lawyers to boycott the criminals.

But meropolitan magistrate Namrata Aggarwal refused the request of advocate Mohan Lal Sharma that he be allowed to take the signatures of the accused in the court room, since he had not been able to meet them earlier in jail.

Meanwhile, the police had not brought the five accused into the court since it was overcrowded with media, lawyers and police. The police insisted that the room be cleared before the accused were brought in.

The magistrate then ordered in-camera proceedings in the case.

The lawyers representing the media, meanwhile, told the court that the Delhi Police has issued an advisory asking the media not to report the proceedings.

The court, however, said it has not received any application from the police for it.“Let the prosecutor file the application, if I receive the application, then only I will decide it,” the magistrate said.

The court on January 5 had taken cognisance of the charge sheet against five adult accused under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 394 (hurting in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) and 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC.

The case of the sixth accused - a minor - is to be heard by a Juvenile Justice Board.

The victim, a paramedical student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus here on the night of December 16 and died of her injuries on December 29 in multi-speciality Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.


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