Thursday Jan 03, 201305:32 AM GMT
Indian gang-rapists to appear in court
Demonstrators react as police unleash water cannons during a protest in India calling for better safety for women following the rape of a woman last week, in front of presidential palace in New Delhi, December 22, 2012.
Demonstrators react as police unleash water cannons during a protest in India calling for better safety for women following the rape of a woman last week, in front of presidential palace in New Delhi, December 22, 2012.
Thu Jan 3, 2013 5:32AM
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The five suspects accused of involvement in the gang-rape and subsequent murder of a 23-year-old woman in India are to appear in a first court hearing.


The five Indian men will appear in the Saket District court in south New Delhi on Thursday.

The defendants are to formally face charges of rape, kidnapping and murder.

A sixth suspect is said to be a 17-year-old boy. It’s not clear if the sixth suspect, believed to be a minor, would appear in court as well.

Most of the suspects are the residents of New Delhi slums.

"It is compulsory for all the accused (to) present themselves before the magistrate," Rana Dasgupta, a legal officer at the court, explained.

The magistrate "will admit the charge sheet presented by the police and then give a copy of the charge sheet to all the accused".

Indian activists on Wednesday staged a fresh rally in the capital city, New Delhi, calling for the death penalty for the rapists.

The 23-year-old woman, a medical student, was gang-raped and thrown out of a moving bus on December 16, 2012, in the Indian capital.

She later died of brain damage and massive internal injuries at a hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012.

Lawyers in India’s Saket District announced on Wednesday that they would not defend the suspects accused of involvement in the brutal rape.

The horrific nature of the crime shocked Indians, who thronged the streets, demanding protection for women and capital punishment for rape, which currently carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

People accuse the officers patrolling the capital's streets of being insensitive towards sexual crimes and ignoring related complaints. They say the country's slow judicial system also discourages women from making complaints.

MSH/HJL/MA
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