• All Share : 49339.32
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Top 40 : 3460.71
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Financial 15 : 15423.99
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Industrial 25 : 61885.63
    UNCHANGED0.00%

  • ZAR/USD : 11.5776
    UP 0.13%
    ZAR/GBP : 18.0537
    UP 0.20%
    ZAR/EUR : 14.1647
    UP 0.23%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.0964
    UP 0.14%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.4005
    UP 0.07%

  • Gold : 1181.1250
    UP 0.62%
    Platinum : 1188.5000
    UP 0.98%
    Silver : 15.7540
    UP 1.05%
    Palladium : 813.5000
    UP 0.81%
    Brent Crude Oil : 60.560
    UP 0.75%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by I-Net Bridge
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Tue Dec 23 07:06:52 SAST 2014

India gang-rape suspects to appear in court

Sapa-AFP | 07 January, 2013 07:29
Lawyers shout slogans as they hold placards and a banner during a protest demanding the juducial system act faster against rape outside a district court in New Delhi January 3, 2013. The December 16 attack on the physiotherapy student and a male companion provoked furious protests close to the seat of government in New Delhi and has fuelled a nationwide debate about the prevalence of sexual crimes in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes. The woman died of her injuries in hospital in Singapore, where she had been taken for treatment, on Saturday. Five men and a teenager are on trial for the attack. Murder carries the death penalty in India.
Image by: ADNAN ABIDI / REUTERS

Five men charged with the brutal gang-rape and murder of a student in New Delhi will appear in court for the first time Monday after police said they had forensic evidence to link them to the killing.

The five, who could face the death penalty if convicted, are also charged with kidnap, robbery and conspiracy over the attack on December 16 that sparked protests in India and soul-searching about levels of violence against women.

The defendants have been named as Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vijay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta.

A sixth accused, who is 17, is to be tried in a separate court for juveniles.

It normally takes months for the prosecution to assemble such a case, but the legal proceedings are getting under way barely a week after the 23-year-old medical student died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

The government, sensitive to criticism that a sluggish justice system often compounds the agony of victims, has pledged to fast-track the case against the defendants who are aged between 17 and 35. They all live in Delhi.

A spokesman for Tihar jail, where the group have been held since their arrest three weeks ago, said they would be produced before the court in the mid-morning.

"We are going to produce the accused between 10:30 am (5am GMT) and 11:00 am and we have made all the preparations," Sunil Gupta told AFP.

"Security has been beefed up inside the court premises," he added.

Police have pledged "maximum security" during the hearing at the magistrates' court amid fears for the defendants' safety. A man was arrested last week as he allegedly tried to plant a crude bomb near the home of one of the men.

Legal experts say the court in the Saket district of the capital would likely transfer the case to a higher court during Monday's hearing.

"The court will ask them if they have lawyers and then it will appoint an Amicus Curiae (lawyer) to represent them and supply copies of the chargesheet to the accused," said Vishwender Verma, a senior advocate at Delhi High Court.

"The case will then be committed to a sessions court as a magistrates' court cannot try rape and murder cases."

The student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had spent the evening at a cinema with her boyfriend on the night of the attack. After failing to flag down an autorickshaw, they were lured onto a school bus they thought would take them home.

Instead, a gang are alleged to have taken it in turns to rape the young woman as well as sexually assault her with an iron bar that they also used to attack her companion. The pair were then thrown out of the moving vehicle.

Outlining their case before the same court in Saket on Saturday, prosecutors said there was DNA evidence to tie the defendants to the crime scene.

"The blood of the victim tallied with the stains found on the clothes of the accused," said Rajiv Mohan, part of the prosecution team.

There have been widespread calls for the attackers to be hanged, including from the victim's family.

Her father was quoted by Britain's Sunday People newspaper at the weekend as saying he wanted "death for all six of them" as well calling for his daughter's name to be made public "to give courage to other women".

But in an interview with Monday's Hindustan Times he said he only supported his daughter's name being used for a new law covering crimes against women.

"I want my daughter to be known as the one who could bring a change in the society and laws, and not as a victim of a barbaric crime," he told the paper.

Rape cases are usually held behind closed doors in India and it will be up to the court to decide what the media will be allowed to report.

The police have issued an advisory saying "it shall not be lawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to such proceedings" unless they receive permission from the court.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.