Video: Court orders in-camera hearings in Delhi gang-rape case
Video: Lawyers justify defending Delhi gang-rape accused

The proceedings in the case of the gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old girl in a bus in Delhi will be held in-camera, a local court today ordered after the five accused were produced before it.

Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal also restrained the media from reporting and publishing the proceedings of the case in the court after the Delhi Police filed an application for in-camera proceedings.

“Keeping in view the situation which has arisen in this case, proceedings, including the inquiry and the trial, to be held in-camera. I am invoking Section 327 (2) (iii) of the Cr PC.

Hence, all public persons and everybody present in the court room are directed to vacate the court room.

“It shall not be lawful to print or publish any matter or content in this case except with the permission of this court,” the judge said in the order.

Challenging the order, some lawyers filed an application before the District Judge R. K. Gauba for lifting the curbs on the media.

Gauba issued notice to the Delhi Police and posted the issue for hearing on January 9.

Public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan moved an application for in-camera proceedings two-days after the Delhi Police issued an advisory that the proceedings in the case cannot be reported as the court has already taken cognisance of the charge sheet under Sections 302 (murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

Earlier, the court witnessed heated arguments between a lawyer, who sought to defend the accused, and other advocates, who vehemently objected to it even as the accused could not be produced in the overcrowded courtroom.

It is for the first time that a lawyer came forward to defend the five accused amid resolutions of various advocate bodies in the city not to represent them.

Advocate Mohan Lal Sharma appeared in the court and told Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal that he had received calls from relatives of some of the accused to defend them.

He told the court that he was unable to take signatures of the accused in the vakalatnama (a person’s authority letter to an advocate to represent him in court) as he could not go to Tihar Jail and sought the magistrate’s permission to take the same in the court itself.

The metropolitan magistrate, however, refused him the permission and asked him to go to Tihar Jail for the purpose.

Even as the court rejected Sharma’s plea, two more lawyers offered their services as amicus curiae to the court.

Later the five accused — Ram Singh, Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur — could not be produced in the overcrowded courtroom, jam-packed with media persons, lawyers and police personnel, due to paucity of space.

The magistrate thereafter asked the people present in the court to make space for the accused to enter it, but despite some space having been made for them, the police refused to bring in the five saying they would bring them only after the court is completely cleared.

The accused are likely to be produced in-chamber now.

The accused were to be produced in court in response to the production warrants issued against them for today.

The court had issued the production warrants after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against them by the police.

(This article was published on January 7, 2013)
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