Tuesday January 29, 2013
India's top court rejects bid to move gang-rape trial
NEW DELHI: India's Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday an application to move the trial of five men accused of the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi.
A three-judge bench dismissed the petition, which argued that the men could not get a fair trial in the capital, because the lawyer who filed it had ceased to represent one of the defendants.
Legal experts have raised concerns over the public pressure on the judge in New Delhi hearing the case of the men accused of abducting the woman and repeatedly raping her on a moving bus on December 16.
The incident has sparked violent protests and a bout of soul-searching in India about the treatment of women. The victim's family have led calls for prompt verdicts and the death penalty.
The case is being held in a new "fast-track" court set up after the gang-rape, which is designed to deliver justice more quickly than the rest of the system where cases often take years to come to trial.
The petition to move the trial out of New Delhi was filed by lawyer M.L. Sharma, who said he was acting on behalf of defendant Mukesh Singh.
The three-judge bench hearing the petition on Tuesday said Singh had since appointed V.K. Anand as his counsel, meaning the original petition was void. - AFP