News / Asia

    5 on Trial in India Gang-Rape Case

    V.K. Anand, lawyer for one of the accused, speaks to journalists outside the Saket district court complex, where the five men facing charges of rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last month, stand trial in New Delhi, Jan. 21, 2013.V.K. Anand, lawyer for one of the accused, speaks to journalists outside the Saket district court complex, where the five men facing charges of rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last month, stand trial in New Delhi, Jan. 21, 2013.
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    V.K. Anand, lawyer for one of the accused, speaks to journalists outside the Saket district court complex, where the five men facing charges of rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last month, stand trial in New Delhi, Jan. 21, 2013.
    V.K. Anand, lawyer for one of the accused, speaks to journalists outside the Saket district court complex, where the five men facing charges of rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last month, stand trial in New Delhi, Jan. 21, 2013.
    Anjana Pasricha
    The trial of five men charged with the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman last month began Monday in a specially convened fast track court in New Delhi.
     
    The start of the trial was delayed for more than an hour as defense lawyers argued that it should be open to the media and public.
     
    “Kindly allow the media, because crime is against the society: society, [the] person at large has every right to know what is going on in [the] court itself," said attorney V.K. Anand, explaining why they wanted an open trial for the five suspects in the 
     
    Judge Yogesh Khanna, who was given the charge sheet, rejected the pleas, saying only those connected with the case could remain in the courtroom. Arguments in the case will begin on Thursday.   
     
    Defense lawyers of two of the five accused men say their clients will plead not guilty, arguing that the men were beaten and tortured by police to coerce confessions following the huge public outrage over the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student.
     
    Prosecutors, however, are confident of convicting the accused, who range from 19 to 35 years of age. They will rely on DNA evidence, cellphone records and the testimony of the victim, who died after fighting for her life in the hospital for several days.
     
    A senior prosecutor has said he will seek the death penalty for all five men. A sixth suspect claims to be a juvenile and is being tried separately.
     
    The Supreme Court is due to hear an appeal by one of the five accused men to move the trial out of New Delhi to ensure that he can get a fair trial. His petition says deep anger over the crime means he cannot get justice in a city where there have been widespread public calls for the alleged perpetrators to be hanged.
     
    The gang rape ignited massive public protests from thousands of young men and women, who have been demanding speedy justice, more safety and better treatment for women. Public outrage prompted the government to move the case to a fast track court in a country where it is common for rape victims to wait for years before the guilty are brought to justice.     
     
    India’s courts are clogged with an estimated 33 million cases. Besides the huge wait to get a verdict, the conviction rate in rape cases is also very poor. The government is establishing six fast track courts in Delhi to deal with crimes against women.

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    Comments
         
    by: rajendran from: India
    January 29, 2013 11:02 AM
    (A friend of mine asked me:In between were you saying that the accusations was false and that the men were innocent ?)I replied;
    No.I was not telling that.In a nutshell, I meant the responsibility may be farther,than the obvious/apparent offenders/accused,and that excessively emotionally driven decisions at legistations and other preventive/remedial actions have potential for misuse, false implications of innocents,and misunderstood persons, being used as weapon in the hands of wielders of clout against upright people/not conforming to unjust systems by way of conscience.
    Vague signs,words, symbols, sounds etc not at all made or meant against women can be falsely witnessed / misconstrued as malicious,and vexatious,insulting, sexually charged etc.Innocent upright people valuable to society, humanity and thus the latter too risk being intimidated,to total detrimentsof all. And indirectly, democracy ,justice, honesty,openness, vigilance in/ by people will be adversely affected.

    by: TD from: USA
    January 21, 2013 5:17 PM
    The parents of these rapists should forced to listen to all the details of what their children did. These rapists are a sum of their total experiences since birth. Clearly their parents did not teach them right from wrong, respect, empathy, sympathy. The parent should not only have to listen but should have to answer to how they were raised and why they were not taught the most basic of these - respect for another human being.

    by: rajendran from: India
    January 21, 2013 2:09 PM
    Certainly the perpetrators should be correctly zeroed in, charged,prosecuted, punished severely. But the possibility of conspired crimes hiring any for perpetrations with motives ulterior to the respective crime per se, should not make any out of the nation , having gulped all sorts of news unfiltered, so overenthused ,highly mobilized,exhilarated to pin the guilt on those accused persons -no farther ,and act on criminal liabilities to those at hand as of now- no farther, and among all the aftereffects, pass laws which are likely to be misused as potential weapon against those who can later be charged with ambiguous applications without essential evidences, as in some false accusations made by women to trap upright ,honest people being eyesore to the hidden forces if any in the crucial captioned matter relied upon now, as at hand with these later misapplications as unseen intention .

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