Lawyers refuse to defend Delhi gang-rape accused
NEW DELHI: Lawyers at a court, hearing the case of a fatal gang-rape which has shocked the nation on Wednesday said they would refuse to defend the men accused of taking part in the assault and murder.
Hearings are expected to begin on Thursday at theSaket district court in New Delhi, where police will formally present a 1,000-page charge sheet against the six-person gang.
“We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case,” Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council, said.
Kumar said the 2,500 advocates registered at the court have decided to “stay away” to ensure “speedy justice”, meaning the government would have to appoint lawyers for the defendants. Another lawyer at the court confirmed the boycott.
Five men are expected to face charges including rape, murder and kidnapping in the Saket court, with the prosecutor likely to seek the death sentence.
A sixth suspect is believed to be 17 years old, meaning he would be tried in a juveniles’ court, but police are conducting bone tests to determine his age.
The brutality and horrific nature of the attack on a 23-year-old has led to protests in the capital and elsewhere over the widespread abuse of women and sex crime.
The rape victim died at the weekend after 13-day struggle to survive injuries so grievous that part of her intestines had to be removed