Juvenile accused to appear before board today

Gangrape School principal too asked to come with papers to verify age.

The juvenile accused among the six arrested for the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman who later died in a Singapore hospital is due to appear before a juvenile justice board here on Tuesday.

The principal of a school the accused attended has also been called with documents to verify his age. Police are seeking the go-ahead for an ossification test to establish the age of the accused. If it is proved he is not a juvenile, he will be tried in a regular court and charged with the others arrested for the gangrape.

Shortly after the arrests were made, police said the juvenile accused was the most brutal of the six who assaulted the woman on board a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16. Thrown out of the bus with a male friend who was also badly beaten, the woman died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

On Monday, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy appeared before the board with an application to be allowed to assist the prosecution in the case as an "intervener", claiming that such a "huge crime which has terrorised all women of India with violence that is unprecedented in human history needs to be dealt with in a strict manner". The board reserved for January 23 its order on the application.

Lawyers for five others arrested in the case said they now have time until January 17 to complete scrutiny of documents filed with the chargesheet.

The five men Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their friends Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur were produced in the Saket court of Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal who conducted the proceedings in camera. The court is expected to commit the case to trial by a fast track court once the scrutiny of documents is complete.

The gangrape incident sparked outrage and protests across the country. On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court is expected to hear a writ petition filed by eight men arrested in a case related to the death of a constable during clashes between police and protesters in and around India Gate on December 23. The arrested men have claimed that they were wrongfully picked up from different areas and accused of having participated in acts of violence.

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