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Gangrape: Court frames charges against 5, trial to start Feb 5

The sixth accused, which the police in the charge sheet claimed to be most brutal among them, has been declared "minor" by the Juvenile Justice Board, which will try him

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A fast-track court here today framed charges against five accused in the December 16 gangrape case and put them on trial on various counts including conspiracy to abduct the 23-year-old girl and sexually assault and murder her.

A fresh offence under section 366 of the Indian Penal Code was added by the court against them for abducting the girl with the intention to compel and force her to "illicit intercourse".

The court, which fixed February 5 for starting the trial, also charged them with murder of the paramedic girl under section 302 (murder) of the IPC which entails the maximum punishment of death penalty. Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna concluded that there were facts prima facie to suggest that the accused, along with another juvenile associate, conspired to deceitfully induce the girl and her male friend to board the vehicle believing it to be a chartered bus for raping the victim and committing other offences.

The accused bus driver Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Singh pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The sixth accused, which the police in the charge sheet claimed to be most brutal among them, has been declared "minor" by the Juvenile Justice Board, which will try him.

However, the fast track court in the order described the juvenile as an "associate" of the five accused, who committed gang rape in furtherance of the conspiracy and "in furtherance of common intention".

The girl had died in a hospital in Singapore on December 29 last year. The court has farmed charges under section 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 376 (2)(g) (gang rape ), 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 396 (murder in dacoity), 201 (destruction of evidence), 120-B (conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 365 ( kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), and 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) of the IPC.

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