New Delhi: Eighteen days after the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student, Delhi Police on Thursday filed its charge sheet in a court in Delhi against five men arrested in the case, slapping on them murder, rape, kidnapping and other charges.
The five accused, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur have been charge sheeted for the offences of murder, gang-rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.
The sixth accused is a juvenile and proceedings against him will be conducted by the Juvenile Justice Board.
In the 33-page charge sheet, the role of the juvenile offender is also elaborated.
The police filed the charge sheet along with bulky documents, with many in sealed covers, in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Surya Malik Grover who posted it for consideration on January 5.
The Delhi police has sought direction for not disclosing the content of the FIR and for keeping it and other documents in sealed covers to protect the identity of the victim.
Police said it will also place before the court the charge sheet in electronic form.
Police also urged the court to hold in-camera proceedings away from public glare.
The charge sheet was filed before the duty magistrate at 17.30 hours, 30 minutes after the normal court hours.
This prompted the judge to ask the public prosecutor for the reason behind filing the charge sheet at the late hour.
Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the investigators took time to put bulky documents along with the charge sheet in an orderly manner.
He maintained that the identity of the student and her family be protected.
Later, he told reporters that the charge sheet will be filed against the juvenile offender shortly.
The victim, a paramedical student, was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus here on the night of December 16, 2012 and she had died of her injuries on December 29, 2012 in the multi-specialty Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
Her male friend, who was accompanying her that day, was also assaulted by the accused and both of them were thrown out of the bus.
The male friend's relative, who is also an advocate, told reporters that if Delhi police will not take up the case properly for the trial then he will file a writ petition in the Delhi High Court.
Some of the lawyers of the Saket court who were present in the court room shouted that the accused should be handed over to the public to be dealt with.
A lady advocate, who is empanelled with the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA), said in any case the accused would be provided with legal aid.
During the day, some women advocates were also seen protesting against the accused outside the court complex.
A hearing was set for Saturday.
The Bar Association said its lawyers would not defend the suspects because of the nature of the crime, but the court was expected to appoint attorneys to defend them.
"Strict, strict, strict punishment should be given to them," said Ashima Sharma, an 18-year-old student attending a protest Thursday. "A very strict punishment ... that all men of India should be aware that they are not going to treat the women like the way they treated her."