Fast-track court underlines: Can’t report on gangrape
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The Saket fast-track court hearing the December 16 gangrape case in the city on Thursday directed all journalists to cease printing any information relating to proceedings in the case.
Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, who was approached by a group of reporters to clarify whether the media could publish information being provided by lawyers of the accused outside the court, said: "The prosecution has raised objection today to the media briefings being given by the defence counsels. I have already passed an order in conformity with orders given by the district judge and metropolitan magistrate. Now you have to follow the law."
"If you are unhappy with my order, then you are welcome to challenge it in a higher court," he told reporters.
On January 9, a petition which challenged the order for in camera hearing and a ban on media reporting of the case was dismissed by the district judge who said it was "mandatory" to hold in camera proceedings in a case of rape and related offences. A revision petition had been filed before district judge R K Gauba challenging the order invoking Section 327 of Code of Criminal Procedure by metropolitan magistrate Namrita Aggarwal.
Meanwhile, the spat between two advocates on who should represent Mukesh, one of the accused in the gangrape case, appeared to have been decided. One of them reportedly left the courtroom. The other advocates declined to comment on the matter.
The court has begun hearing arguments on charges against five accused — bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their friends Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur.
The sixth accused in the case is said to be a juvenile and the juvenile justice board is holding an inquiry to determine his age. On Thursday, the board dismissed an application by Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy to treat the juvenile accused as an adult.
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