The Delhi High Court on Friday lifted the gag on Media from covering the day-to-day trial of the four adult accused in connection with the gang rape of 23-year-old physiotherapy student on December 16, 2012.
The hearing of the case was hitherto held behind closed doors in-camera trial after the special fast track court upheld the order of ban on media which was earlier imposed by metropolitan magistrate.
The order from the court came in favour of the reporters who had pleaded to carry out an open hearing of the case.
"The court will allow access to one representative journalist of each of the accredited national dailies. The petitioners before me represent some of them," the court order stated.
However, the court has restricted media from revealing the identity of the victim, her family or the witnesses in the case.
In addition, the media will not be allowed to report those parts of the legal proceedings that the court restrains them from publishing.
According to various reports, the case has been abated against prime accused Ram Singh, who allegedly committed suicide on March 11 in his cell in Tihar jail, where he and four other accused in the case were lodged.
The sixth accused, who is a minor, has been kept in an observation home. He will be tried before the Juvenile Justice Board.
The ban on media from covering the case was imposed in January after the metropolitan magistrate, Namrita Aggarwal, invoked Sections 327 (2) and 327(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code according to which court can restrain the media from printing and publishing proceedings of the case without the permission of the court.
"Keeping in view the situation which has arisen in this case, proceedings, including the inquiry and the trial, will be held in-camera. I am invoking Sections 327 (2) and 327(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Hence, all public persons and everybody present in the courtroom, except the prosecutor and the accused persons, are directed to vacate the courtroom," the magistrate had issued a statement then.
"It shall not be lawful to print or publish any matter or content in this case, except with the permission of this court," she added.
During the trial of the case on January 7, 2013 the magistrate pointed out that the accused could not be produced in the court due to concerns over their safety in passing through the crowded courtroom.
The court also served as arena for high drama after two lawyers, Manohar Lal Sharma and VK Anand, came forward to defend the accused. The members of the Saket bar, who had vowed not to represent them in the Delhi gang rape case, accused the lawyers of seeking publicity.
Following chaos in the courtroom, the judge ordered for an in-camera trial and adjourned the proceedings till next hearing.
The physiotherapy student was gang raped by six accused in a moving bus on December 16, and she later succumbed to brutal injuries inflicted on her. The victim along with her male friend was assaulted by the offenders using iron rods before being thrown off the bus.
The girl was initially admitted in Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. She was later flown to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital for treatment where she breathed her last on December 29 due to multiple organ failure.
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