December 16 Delhi gang rape All set for first verdict
A Delhi local court is due to pronounce on Thursday the first verdict on one of the six suspects on trial in connection with the December 16 gang-rape of a paramedical student on a moving bus last year.
On July 5, a juveniles’ court concluded hearing the case of the teenager (one of the accused in the case), aged 17 at the time of the crime, who faces a maximum sentence of three years in a correctional facility if found guilty.
The Juvenile Justice Board then reserved its order in the case for July 11 (Thursday).
Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) presided by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel concluded its inquiry that began in March against the juvenile, who, the police claimed, was the “most brutal” of all the six accused persons.
After hearing the final arguments in the matter, the JJB reserved its order for July 11, saying the prosecution and defence could give any clarification they want to on that day.
The JJB also concluded its inquiry in the case against the juvenile pertaining to robbing Ramadhar, a carpenter, who had also encountered the accused persons ahead of the December 16 gang-rape incident.
A native of Uttar Pradesh who had moved to Delhi as an 11-year-old and took up menial jobs, the juvenile was one of the six persons accused in the case.
While the juvenile faced inquiry before the JJB, the four adult accused are being tried before a fast track court. Key accused Ram Singh was found hanging in Tihar Jail in March and the proceedings against him stand abated.
During the inquiry, the JJB recorded the statements of six prosecution witnesses including the victim’s male friend and also the carpenter.
The counsel for the juvenile had submitted that there was no medical evidence against him to connect him with the charges and no finger prints could be detected in the bus to show his complicity.
The defence counsel had claimed that the juvenile had been implicated by the police though neither the victim nor her male friend had done so in their initial statements.
He had also said that the victim’s male friend, who is the complainant in the case, did not depose against him even before the JJB and alleged that Ramadhar, who is said to have identified him as one of the six accused in the bus, had deposed falsely at the behest of the police.
The juvenile had in his statement recorded by the Board during the inquiry claimed innocence and refuted the police version in the charge sheet of him being the “most brutal” of all the accused.
The juvenile had claimed that he was himself victimised by his employer and prime accused Ram Singh, who, he said, did not pay him for his work.
Besides the juvenile, four adults facing trial in the case are – Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.
They have been charged with gang-rape, murder, criminal conspiracy, unnatural sex and robbery besides other sections of IPC.