5-yr-old rape victim unwell, could not appear in court

The five-year-old girl, who was raped allegedly by two youths in east Delhi, could not appear in a court on Thursday.

New Delhi: The five-year-old girl, who was raped allegedly by two youths in east Delhi leading to widespread protest, could not appear in a court here today for recording her statement due to ill health.

The minor`s uncle told additional sessions judge Sanjay Garg that she was suffering from viral fever and it would take her few more days to recover.

"The victim`s uncle sought her exemption stating that she is not feeling well today and due to this reason she is not brought today. Her exemption plea is allowed," the court said.

It fixed August 16 for recording the statements of the child and her father.

Manoj Shah and Pradeep Kumar, who are in judicial custody, are accused of raping the girl on April 15. The girl was rescued 40 hours later on April 17. The accused had fled after committing the crime and were arrested from Bihar, according to police.

During the day`s hearing, the court recorded testimonies of two prosecution witnesses, videographer Monu Thakur and photographer Avdesh, who were part of the investigation.

The videographer had made the child`s video at the time of recording of her previous statement before a magistrate.

Avdesh had clicked the photographs of the room where the offence was committed.

The court had earlier framed charges of raping a minor, unnatural offence, kidnapping, attempt to murder, destruction of evidence and wrongful confinement with common intention under IPC against the two accused.

It also framed 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.

Charges of rape and unnatural offence were 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.

Earlier, the court had recorded the statement of victim`s mother who had broke down while deposing and had identified the accused as those who had committed the crime.