Earlier, special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan and Delhi police counsel Rajiv Mohan along with the investigating officer entered inside the packed courtroom where the proceedings were to commence before the special court at 2.30 PM for the first time.
Besides 30-40 security personnel, defence lawyers and journalists were also inside the court room where all the accused were brought in with their faces muffled up.
The driver of the bus Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta and Vinay are the accused in the case. While their juvenile accomplice is being tried separately at the Juvenile Justice Board here.
Except Thakur, who was arrested from Aurangabad in Bihar on December 22, rest four accused were arrested within 24 hours of the incident.
Special prosecutor Krishnan started the argument with a plea that the special court should give an order as to whether the trial proceedings would be open for all or it would be held in-camera.
Citing legal provisions and the previous order of the magistrate, he said the section 327 (2) and (3) of the CrPC specifically provides that the trial in rape cases "shall be held" in-camera.
He argued that even though the detailed proceedings in the case cannot be allowed to be reported as per the earlier order, but the special court needs to pass an order which should decide the issue whether it can be reported or not.
"In-camera proceedings under section 327 (2) of the CrPC should go on. Reporting of proceedings by the media, under section 327 (3), is upto the court to decide," Krishnan said.
He also said that if the judge deems it fit then he can allow media to publish a brief of the proceedings or can pass an order regarding how much media can report or publish.
But detailed reporting of the proceedings may not be allowed, he added.
Defence lawyers V K Anand and R P Singh sought lifting of the ban on media saying that the denial may result in
Swami Om Ji, a self-proclaimed spiritual guru who had earlier withdrawn his plea in the High Court seeking a direction to allow media to cover the case, today again appeared before the special judge raising the same issue.
However, the court dismissed his plea saying he does not have any locus.
Around 200-300 protesters had gathered outside the court complex for a brief period. Later, most of them left after security personnel denied them entry.
Dismissing a plea for the open court trial, the special judge, in his 5-page order, said, "All persons un-connected with the case are directed to clear the courtroom and to ensure safe passage to the accused person. It shall not be lawful for any person to publish or print any matter relating to the proceedings of this case except with the prior permission of the court, till the trial.
"Such an order is, even otherwise, necessary, considering the sensitivity of the matter, concealing the identity of victim, safety of the complainant, safety of the accused person to ensure the fair trial and also for smooth functioning of the court."
The special judge also said, "Sub section (2) and (3) of section 327 of CrPC are inserted by an Act 43 of 1983 ....Hence there is nothing much to say about the issue (of in-camera proceedings) raised and I am in conformity with the Metropolitan Magistrate as also with the order dated January 9 passed by the Judge In-charge, South and South-East District...".