The five men charged with the brutal gang-rape and murder of a student on a bus in Delhi were brought to court for the first time this morning after the police said forensic evidence links them to the heinous crime. The sixth - who is allegedly 17 - has been asked to appear at a juvenile court next week.
His school principal shared information and some documents about the teenager - a school-leaving certificate, say sources - with a juvenile court today. The judge was not satisfied with these, and asked the headmaster to appear again with the teen on January 15.
The six men have been arrested for a crime that pierced India's conscience, triggering a wave of protests and demands for stronger laws to punish sexual offenders.
Partly because the police has said that the 17-year-old was the most depraved of the group, much attention is being paid to what sort of trial the juvenile will undergo. The maximum sentence a juvenile court can give to a minor is three years at a reform facility.
On December 16, Amanat (NOT her real name) and her boyfriend were attacked relentlessly on a moving bus. The six men arrested allegedly hit them with an iron rod, then took turns raping her before throwing the couple onto the road and attempting to drive over them. Sources in the police say that of the six men who attacked the couple with unmitigated cruelty, the minor was the most vicious. They say he raped the student twice - once when she was unconscious.
According to the law, if school documents attesting to a minor's age appear genuine, the juvenile should not be put through a medical test to confirm his age. The Delhi Police is reportedly keen for the minor to be put through a bone test to check his age.
(With inputs from Agencies)