New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday framed charges of rape and unnatural offence against two young men accused of raping a five-year-old girl here, paving way for their trial.
Charges of rape and unnatural offence have been slapped against the two accused by the court on its own as these two sections were not invoked by the police in its charge sheet. Provisions under the child protection act have been been invoked against them.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg said "prima facie" charges of raping a minor, kidnapping, unnatural offence, attempt to murder, destruction of evidence and wrongful confinement with common intention under IPC are made out against accused Manoj Shah (22) and Pradeep Kumar (20).
The court also framed against them charges of aggravated sexual assault under the newly enacted Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act which entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
The charges were framed against Manoj and Pradeep after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
ASJ Garg, who is presiding over special court under the POCSO Act, fixed the matter for July 24 for recording the statement of prosecution witnesses, including parents of the minor victim.
The duo are accused of brutally raping the five-year-old girl on April 15 in a building in east Delhi`s Gandhi Nagar locality where the victim and accused lived.
The girl was rescued 40 hours later on April 17 and is under treatment at AIIMS.
Manoj and Pradeep, who had fled after committing the crime, were arrested from Bihar, according to the police.
The Delhi Police had on May 24 filed a charge sheet against them under provisions of the POCSO Act relating to aggravated sexual assault and for offences including procuring a minor girl, kidnapping, wrongful confinement, attempt to murder and destruction of evidence under IPC.