Citizens' Issues
Delhi gang-rape case: Fast track court to hear arguments “in-camera”

Invoking a legal provision that bars open court hearing, the special judge said as per Section 327 (2) of the CrPC, the proceedings will be held in-camera and Section 327 (3) prohibits anyone from publishing and printing the proceedings

New Delhi: Trial proceedings in the 16th December Delhi gang-rape case will be held “in-camera” before a fast track court, which on Monday decided to hear arguments on framing of charges against five accused on 24th January, reports PTI.


Upholding the previous order of a magistrate, the special fast track court judge said, “Only those who are connected with the case will stay in the courtroom. Others should vacate the court immediately.”


Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna also decided to hear “in-camera” the arguments on framing of charges against the five accused on 24th January as the judicial records were sent by the magisterial court after concluding the procedural formalities.


Invoking a legal provision that bars open court hearing, the special judge said, “As per Section 327 (2) of the CrPC, the proceedings will be held in-camera and Section 327 (3) prohibits anyone from publishing and printing the proceedings.”


“I am upholding the same order passed by the metropolitan magistrate (MM).”


Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir had inaugurated the fast track court at Saket District Courts complex earlier this month following a decision of the Delhi government in this regard.


Earlier, the MM had allowed an application of Delhi police seeking in-camera proceedings following the chaos in the courtroom when the accused were being brought.


The accused have been charged under the IPC for offences of murder, gang-rape and destruction of evidence.


The 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally assaulted and gang-raped in a moving bus allegedly by six persons, including a juvenile, on the night of 16th December before being dumped in a south Delhi locality here. Her male friend was also assaulted.


The victim later died at a Singapore hospital.


Earlier, special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan and Delhi police counsel Rajiv Mohan along with the investigating officer entered inside the packed courtroom where the proceedings were to commence before the special court at 2.30pm for the first time.


Besides 30-40 security personnel, defence lawyers and journalists were also inside the court room where all the accused were brought in with their faces muffled up.


The driver of the bus Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay are the accused in the case. Their juvenile accomplice is being tried separately at the Juvenile Justice Board.


Except Thakur, who was arrested from Aurangabad in Bihar on 22nd December, rest four accused were arrested within 24 hours of the incident.


Special prosecutor Krishnan started the argument with a plea that the special court should give an order as to whether the trial proceedings would be open for all or it would be held in-camera.


Citing legal provisions and the previous order of the magistrate, he said the Section 327 (2) and (3) of the CrPC specifically provides that the trial in rape cases “shall be held” in-camera.


He argued that even though the detailed proceedings in the case cannot be allowed to be reported as per the earlier order, but the special court needs to pass an order which should decide the issue whether it can be reported or not.


“In-camera proceedings under Section 327 (2) of the CrPC should go on. Reporting of proceedings by the media, under Section 327 (3), is up to the court to decide,” Krishnan said.


He also said that if the judge deems it fit then he can allow media to publish a brief of the proceedings or can pass an order regarding how much media can report or publish.


But detailed reporting of the proceedings may not be allowed, he added.


Defence lawyers VK Anand and RP Singh sought lifting of the ban on media saying that the denial may result in mis-reporting.


Swami Om Ji, a self-proclaimed spiritual guru who had earlier withdrawn his plea in the high court seeking a direction to allow media to cover the case, on Monday again appeared before the special judge raising the same issue.


However, the court dismissed his plea saying he does not have any locus.


Around 200-300 protesters had gathered outside the court complex for a brief period. Later, most of them left after security personnel denied them entry.


RTI workshop: Use specific orders of the CIC to file an effective RTI application, says Shailesh Gandhi

Moneylife Foundation completes 150 events with a workshop on RTI for advanced users conducted by former chief information commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi. Mr Gandhi discussed various case studies during the session

In just under three years, Moneylife Foundation reached yet another milestone, this time of completing 150 events. Over this time-frame the Foundation has covered events on various topics in personal finance and public interest to empower its members. “How to Effectively Use the Right to Information Act” is just one of them. Mr Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC), over the last three months, conducted workshops for beginners and as well as advanced users of the RTI. This was the final session for advanced users. Based on feedback from participants, Mr Gandhi focussed on specific case studies to discuss what has been done so far and the way forward.

Click here for the RTI Judgement Series

Mr Gandhi explained common apprehensions of the provisions under the RTI Act prevalent among the participants as well as information officers and offered interesting viewpoints and suggestions as well as opinions and clues on how to pursue the case in the appeal process and minimize delays in obtaining relevant information.

The session was replete with plenty of interesting anecdotes and examples from his vast experience as the Central Information Commissioner and as an activist. He also urged the participants to use previous specific orders of the Central Information Commission (CIC) as potential reference points to enable activists argue their case effectively. Mr Gandhi took the participants through the list of important judgements on the RTI, which are also published on the Moneylife website.

The provisions of RTI are contained in Section 8(1), which Mr Gandhi devoted much of the session time. It is the contents of this Section that one’s RTI query can be refused. He also gave several examples of how PIOs refuse RTI queries. The most common excuse by information officers for arbitrarily refusing information is that they hold it in a fiduciary capacity. He advised participants to go through the Central Information Commissioner Judgement (CIC/SG/A/2012/000857/19484) in order to get the background of a case where fiduciary relationship refusal was overturned in favour of the appellant.

Mr Gandhi pointed out that “information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders” can be refused. The keyword here is ‘impede’ and most PIOs misuse this word. If an RTI query is turned down based on this ground, the PIO must give the reason how and why it impedes an investigation.

Mr Gandhi mentioned that filing a second appeal is a long-drawn out process and will take as much as two years. He advised participants to maintain a repository of all the RTI queries, appeals in an orderly fashion so that they can easily refer to it and retrieve information.

If you’d like to empower yourself, do join Moneylife Foundation for free. It costs nothing and you will be part of one of the fastest growing communities in India. Click here to join Moneylife Foundation and get a free e-book, if you haven’t already




4 years ago

i agree with manoj.

Manoj Dhyani

4 years ago

As commented by former CIC Mr Shailesh Gandhi in the organized seminar that the process of making a 2nd appeal on RTI may take two years of time; my question is doesn't it counts some kind of hypocrisy on the right of an individual who is in want of the information immediately. The cumbersomne delaying tactics on the parts of the officials of the Govt hand-in-globe with some very officials responsible to see that the provisions of the Act are duly delivered, actually is making the whole system laughable. We must find the ways and means by which an RTI application is addressed at the earliest.

Government hikes import duty on gold, platinum to 6%

Import duty on gold and platinum has been increased from 4% to 6% with immediate effect to curb imports and check the widening current account deficit

New Delhi: The Indian government on Monday hiked import duty on gold and platinum to 6% from 4% with immediate effect—a move aimed at curbing imports of the precious metals to check the widening current account deficit (CAD), reports PTI.


“Government has decided to increase import duty on gold and platinum from 4% to 6% with immediate effect,” Department of Economic Affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram told reporters.


He further said the government will link gold exchange traded funds (ETF) with the gold deposit schemes, which will enable mutual funds to unlock their physical gold and invest in gold-linked schemes offered by banks.


“The changes proposed to the gold deposit scheme will make it attractive for individuals to deposit their idle gold with the banks under the gold deposit scheme,” Mayaram said.


He said the changes would help moderate import of gold and help in bridging the CAD.


Gold imports in 2011-12 amounted to $56.5 billion and in the current financial year, till December, they are estimated at $38 billion.


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