'Amanat' case: Fast track court to hear framing of charges against five accused

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'Amanat' case: Fast track court to hear framing of charges against five accused
New Delhi:  Defence lawyers in the Delhi gang-rape case will today argue on framing of charges at a fast track court in the Saket District Court complex in Delhi against the five accused who brutally gang-rape 'Amanat' (NOT her real name) on December 16 last year.

The trial in the case will begin once charges are framed against the five accused.

One of the five accused has claimed that he is below 18 years of age and should be tried in a juvenile court. As per police records, the gym instructor is 20 years old.

The court is likely to pass an order today, on whether a bone marrow test should be conducted on the fifth accused to determine his exact age.

The barbarous assault prompted weeks of angry protests by thousands of people in Delhi and other cities, who demanded swift justice for Amanat, faster trials for rape cases, and harsher punishment for sexual crimes.

The 23-year-old medical student and her boyfriend boarded the bus, after they were led to believe that it was a charter bus, used commonly in Delhi as public transport.  They were then assaulted with an iron rod before the men allegedly took turns raping her, the police says. The couple was later thrown from the bus, and managed to escape an attempt by the men to run them over. 'Amanat' died two weeks later from the horrific injuries of her attack.

A committee of legal experts set up by the government to suggest amendments to existing laws submitted its report last week.  The commission, headed by Justice JS Verma, has asked for sweeping changes, but has not recommended the death penalty for rapists.  Instead, the panel suggests that the maximum sentence for rapists should be life imprisonment "which shall mean for the rest of the convict's natural life." Currently, convicts sentenced to life in prison are often released after 14 years in jail.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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