New Delhi: The wheels of justice have started rolling for the Delhi braveheart with the Delhi police filing a chargesheet in the brutal gangrape and murder case of the 23-year-old paramedical student. Five of the six accused in the case have been charged by the police with murder, rape, kidnapping and dacoity, among others. Reacting to the development, the father of the braveheart said that he was satisfied with the police action in the case.
The five accused, against whom the chargesheet has been filed by the Delhi Police, face death penalty if convicted in the case. The sixth accused, who has claimed to be a minor, will be charged in a juvenile court later. However, the Delhi Police is also waiting for a bone report of the accused to ascertain his age before filing the report in the Juvenile Justice Board. The police have planned to ask the Board to get the test done at the earliest. According to sources, if a bone test certifies that the boy is not a minor and he is above 18 years, then a supplementary chargesheet will be filed.
In the chargesheet, which runs into 1000 pages, the accused have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 376 (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offence), 201 (destruction of evidence), 307 (attempt to murder), 365 (kidnapping or abduction with intent to secretly or wrongfully confine a person), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 396 (dacoity with murder) and 34 (common intention).
The chargesheet has been filed before a Metropolitan Magistrate, who after taking the cognisance of the case, will move it to the designated fast-track court. The chargesheet is also likely to be shown to the Chief Justice of High Court.
The statement given by the braveheart to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, while she was undergoing treatment at Safdarjung Hospital in the national capital, and by her friend are slated to be the key evidence to nail the six accused in the barbaric case.
The hearing in the gangrape case will take place on a day-to-day basis with no adjournments at a fast-track court, which was inaugurated by Chief Justice of India at Saket on Wednesday. The prosecution has said that it will try to finish the trial in a month even as the Saket District Court Bar Association on Wednesday passed a resolution saying none of the lawyers would defend any of the accused in the brutal gangrape case.
While inaugurating the fast-track courts at Saket, the Chief Justice of India had sharp words for the police and a word of caution for protesters. He said, "If the Supreme Court directive to remove tinted glasses (from buses) was followed strictly, this may not have happened." He further said: "Some people are demanding that we should hang them immediately. But we must balance things. Let us not get carried away. We must restore the faith of the people in the judiciary."
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Commissioner on Wednesday appeared before the Parliament Committee on Women Empowerment and announced that every police station in the city will have one designated policeman to deal with crimes against women. Both the government and the police have been under a lot of pressure since the gangrape case of the paramedical student came to light. There have been protests across the nation demanding stricter laws for sexual offences and harsher punishments for accused.
In the chargesheet, the police have mentioned the entire sequence of events from the time the prime accused, Ram Singh, and five others had a party at their place and then took the bus out at night just to earn a few bucks to buy more alcohol. Apart from Ram Singh, while one of the accused is a minor, the others are Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Mukesh and Akshay Singh alias Thakur.
According to the chargesheet, the girl and her friend got into the bus at the Munirka bus stop, after which some of the accused made lewd comments and it led to an argument between the two groups. As the argument got heated, the girl and the boy were assaulted by the accused. While the boy was hit with a rod, the girl was gangraped.
All the six accused in the case have been booked for dacoity, gangrape, murder and destruction of evidence. The police have decided to ask for the maximum punishment for the accused in the case. However, one of the accused is a minor and he will be produced before a juvenile justice board and can be sent to a children's home for a maximum of three years. The police, meanwhile, have decided to go for a bone marrow test of the sixth accused to determine his real age.
For evidence, the police will be using statements of the girl and her friend, girl's ATM cards and jewellery and the medical report which says the injuries were grievous enough to cause death. They also have the CCTV footage and forensic evidence picked up from the bus.
The police have also arrested Dinesh Yadav - the owner of the bus in which the crime was committed - for violating rules to get permit. The police registered a case of cheating against him and picked him up from his residence in Rasoolpur Nawada village near Sector 62 in Noida.
The braveheart had succumbed to her injuries at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore at 2:15 am on December 29 after struggling against all odds and fighting for her survival for 12 days. The odds were stacked against her as she had suffered significant brain injury, intestinal damage, cardiac arrests and multiple organ failure. Her small intestine had to be removed by the doctors at Safdarjung Hospital where she was under treatment for 10 days before she was airlifted to Singapore for further treatment.
The body of the braveheart was laid to rest in the national capital amid heavy deployment of Delhi Police and RAF personnel after she was brought from Singapore in a special aircraft of Air India. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Minister of State for Home Affairs RPN Singh, West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra, Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta had also attended the last rites on Sunday. Media was not allowed at the site.
The case sparked nationwide protests as people from all walks of communities, including students, professionals and NGOs from across the country came out to show their solidarity to the braveheart and demand justice for her. The protesters also called for a stronger anti-rape law to ensure that such incidents did not happen in future.
Though the protests across the country have been peaceful, on December 23, the protests had turned violent, leading to a lathicharge by the Delhi Police. While several protesters were injured, a police constable, Subhash Tomar, was admitted at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital after the protests, where he died. The death of the constable sparked a controversy, with the post mortem report and the Delhi Police saying that his cardiac arrest was induced by serious injuries, and the eyewitnesses countering the claims saying the constable had suffered no injuries at all.