Gang rape trial may be moved out of Delhi


Indian lawyer Ajay Prakash Singh (C), who represents defendants Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma who are on trial for the gang-rape of a student, speaks with the media outside the Saket District Court in New Delhi on January 10 ,2013. A lawyer for the defendants in the New Delhi gang-rape case accused police on January 10 of beating confessions out of them as they appeared for their second court appearance.


Sajjad Hussain

The trial of five men accused of brutally assaulting a 23-year-old on a bus in Delhi last month may be moved out of the city due to overwhelming bias against the accused. 

India's Supreme Court has agreed to consider a plea from M.L. Sharma, defendant Mukesh Singh's lawyer, who alleges that it is impossible to get a fair trial in the city where such a widely denounced crime took place, the Telegraph reported

"There is pressure to hang all the accused," Sharma said Monday, NDTV reported. "Even children are asking when the accused will be hanged."

Chief Justice Altamas Kabir and his bench will hear the petition on Tuesday, according to Sharma, Reuters reported

Five of the accused were presented in a fast-track court in the capital city on Monday — one of five courthouses set up in the wake of the brutal gang rape in order to process cases of violence against women more rapidly.  

The five suspects are expected to plead not guilty, and a sixth is to be tried as a minor, according to Reuters. 

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Another of the accused, Vinay Sharma, is seeking to prove that he too is a minor. His lawyer, A.P. Singh, has motioned the court for a bone test for his client — who is currently listed as 20 years old on police records — in order to prove his age, Reuters reported. 

Juveniles in India are tried in separate courts, and receive much lighter sentences of three years or less. 

Meanwhile, the family of the young woman has said that they cannot rest until a verdict is handed down to the men who raped and fatally wounded their loved one. 

"We have finished the mourning rituals for my daughter in the village but our mourning will not end until the court passes down its verdict. My daughter's soul will only rest in peace after the court punishes the men," the woman's father told the Telegraph.

"It is the duty of the court and the judges to ensure that the final order to punish all the accused is handed down quickly and all the men are hanged. No man has the right to live after committing such a heinous crime," he added. 

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