Seeking continuation of the trial court's order restraining the media from covering the proceedings in the December 16 gang-rape case, the Delhi Police Wednesday told the Delhi high court that the presiding judge has the "discretion" to pass such a direction.
Appearing for the police, Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan opposed the plea seeking access to the trial, saying that it was a rape case, and "every trial of a rape case has to be in-camera."
"Section 327 (2) of CrPC is mandatory in nature...(There is) ample discretion vested in the presiding judge to regulate access to the court room and to allow persons to remain present in the court where the inquiry or trial is being conducted...," the police said in its reply on a petition filed a journalist covering courts.
Krishnan said in the Delhi gangrape case, there are 80 witnesses and their testimony has to be recorded in-camera.
"Charges have been framed in the case. We have 80 witnesses in the case and till now 11 witnesses have deposed and trial is on a day-to-day basis," he said.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher, while hearing the plea, asked the police counsel whether accredited journalists could be allowed to cover the court proceedings.
"Can you have some kind calibrated access to allow accredited journalists at least one from each media," the court asked.
The court later posted the matter for February 28.
A Delhi magistrate had on January 7 ordered in-camera trial in the case following unruly scenes that prevented the accused from being led into the court room.