The case of gang-rape-cum-murder of a Delhi girl moved one step ahead today with a court in New Delhi taking cognisance of the charge sheet after the prosecution said according to the DNA report the blood of the victim tallied with the stains on the clothes of all the accused.
Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal took cognisance of the charge sheet saying a case of various offences, including those of murder and gang-rape are made out against the accused and issued warrants for production of the accused on Monday.
"I have perused the charge sheet and other documents. Prima facie offence under sections, 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 394 (hurting in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) and 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC is made out against all the accused," the metropolitan magistrate said.
"I take cognisance of the charge-sheet and issue summons/ production warrants to all the five accused (Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur) for January 7," she said after hearing the submissions of Additional Public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan.
Delhi Police on January 3 had filed the charge sheet in the case in which the 23-year-old girl was gang-raped and brutally assaulted on a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16. The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
After filing the e-challan, the prosecutor told the court that the statement of complainant (the victim's male friend) and the victim herself revealed commission of offences under all the sections mentioned in the charge sheet.
"We are at the stage of taking cognisance and only prima facie commission of offences is required to be proved," he said adding the statement of the girl would be considered as dying declaration in the case.
"We are relying on the statements of the victim and her male friend recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC," Mohan said.
He also submitted that the statements of the victims clearly spell out the commission of all offences.
Referring to the DNA report, annexed with the charge sheet, the prosecutor said the blood of the victim tallied with the blood stains on clothes of all the accused and Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) has also confirmed the same.
Mohan said they have also booked the accused for destroying the evidence as they have secured the burnt clothes of the male friend and the deceased at the instance of the accused. The blood stains on those burnt pieces of clothes have tallied with the blood samples of the victims, he said.
The prosecutor also told the court that the charge sheet names 80 witnesses and contains a list of 12 items of evidence gathered against the accused.
Regarding offences of murder and murder during dacoity under the IPC, the prosecutor said the victim's death summary, received from Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, revealed the cause of death as septicaemia and multiple organ failure.
"The death summary of the Singapore hospital is corroborated with the report of the Safdarjung hospital where the victim was hospitalised for 11 days.
"That report also talks of multiple organ failure due to multiple organ injuries," he said.
The prosecution also said the accused were more than five in number and the articles they robbed from the victim have also been recovered from them which sufficiently constitutes offence under sections 396 (murder during dacoity) and 302 (murder) of the IPC. The sixth accused is a minor and his case would be heard by Juvenile Justice Board.
On prosecution's plea that the documents containing the name and identity of the victim be kept in sealed cover to protect her identity, the magistrate directed that the complete case file comprising the charge sheet, e-challan and FIR be kept under the court's seal.
On aspects of booking the accused for the offences of dacoity, committing murder and causing hurt during dacoity, and attempt to murder, the prosecutor said on the basis of the statements of both the victim and those of connecting witnesses, the DNA report and the death summary from the Singapore hospital and Safdarjung Hospital here, these offences are made out.
Regarding section 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC, he said the police has also recovered articles robbed from the victims.
Public Prosecutor Mohan later told reporters that the girl's post-mortem report, which is one of the most crucial evidence in the case, is likely to reach police by January 20.
"The post-mortem report will be the crucial evidence against the accused involved in the crime, which will also reveal the brutality of the crime and the manner in which it was committed," Mohan said.
The police are still waiting for the report related to the teeth bite on persons of the three accused by the deceased in her bid to protect herself from them, he said adding that the report on teeth bite is equally important in the case.
He further said the accused had clear motive of robbing and killing the girl and her male friend as before picking them from the bus stop they had robbed one Ramadhar and had dropped him on their way to Munirka in South Delhi.
The prosecutor also said while the two victim's were dumped after the commission of the offence, they also tried to crush them with the vehicle.
Mohan also said it would take some time before the police could file charge sheet against the juvenile accused as the concerned court would first go through the bone age report and other related documents.
"We have given our report on juvenile's age. But before we file a charge sheet against him, the concerned court, as per law, will hold an inquiry into it to be sure of his age," he said.