Delhi gang-rape case: Victim's friend testifies before court, identifies bus

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 05, 2013 14:35 hrs

New Delhi: The trial in the Delhi gang-rape case formally began against the five accused in a fast track court here Tuesday with the 28-year-old male friend of the victim testifying in court and police filing the woman's autopsy report.

The witness, a software engineer, came to court on a wheelchair, accompanied by his father.

The 28-year-old identified the white bus as the vehicle on which the deadly assault took place, his father said.

The fast track court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna started day-to-day trial in the case after it framed charges of murder, gang-rape and kidnapping, among others, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against five of the six accused.

The case of the sixth accused, a minor, is being heard by the Juvenile Justice Board.

Police filed a supplementary charge sheet that included the autopsy report of the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern who was gang-raped by the six men Dec 16, 2012, in a moving bus. She died Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital.

The gang-rape victim's friend, who appeared as a witness, boarded the bus with her before the attack, police said.

The accused men gang-raped the woman and also assaulted her male friend and both were thrown out of the bus after around 40 minutes, naked, bleeding and shivering, police said.

The other charges framed against the accused are unnatural offence, destruction of evidence, attempt to murder, causing hurt while committing robbery, dacoity with murder, and common intent. The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court had earlier restricted media from reporting the proceedings in the case and ordered in-camera trial.

Girl's father wants death for all accused

Demanding death for all the six accused, the father of the 23-year-old paramedic student on Tuesday said he wanted the world to know the rape victim's name as she "awoke the consciousness of the nation" by showing exemplary courage.

Addressing a joint press conference with Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta and South Delhi Mayor Savita Gupta, the father also took objection to his daughter being referred to as gang-rape victim by the media.

'We are hurt when she is called a gang-rape victim'

"We are hurt when she is called a gang-rape victim. She is the daughter of the nation. We want her name to be known to the people. She is really a braveheart. She awoke the consciousness of the nation...we want death for all the accused," he said.

Gupta announced that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to name a science museum in R K Puram, from where the girl and her male friend boarded a bus on December 16, after the student.

"The father has given an undertaking under Sec 228(A) of the IPC saying that he has no objection in revealing the name of his daughter. So, the SDMC will name the museum after her. It will be called Brave Heart ....... Museum," he said.

Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code prohibits disclosure of a rape victim's name is punishable with a two-year jail and a fine. However, the name can be revealed if the family gives in writing that it can be made public.

The girl's father took a few questions and the rest were answered by his son, who was also present.

The father demanded that the accused be sentenced to death and requested the media to respect their privacy.

"I have not slept for the past three days. I don't get time to sleep during the day because we keep getting media people at home," he said.

Answering a volley of questions, the girl's brother said his family was not bothered about whether the Justice J S Verma Committee recommendations are followed or not.

"What we want is justice for my sister. We want that to happen," he said.

The boy also demanded that the juvenile, who is perceived to be the most violent among the six people, should be treated like other accused.

"Once you cross the age of 14, you know what is wrong and what is right. He should not be let scot-free," he said.

Gupta said there would be no legal hassles in naming the science museum after the girl since her father has given a written undertaking.

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