|Court rejects plea to move Delhi gang rape hearings
India's Supreme Court rejected an application to move the trial of five men accused of the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in the national capital Delhi in December.
A three-judge bench dismissed the petition, which argued that the men could not get a fair trial in the capital, also called the rape capital of India, because the lawyer who filed it had ceased to represent a defendant.
Legal experts have raised concerns over the public pressure on the judge hearing the case of the men accused of abducting the woman and repeatedly raping her on a moving bus in December 16, AFP reports. She ans he friend was then thrown out of the bus, naked.
The attack sparked violent protests and a bout of soul-searching in India about the treatment of women. Self-appointed spiritual gurus and aging politicians made crass comments that ignited public anger further.
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.
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 said Singh had since appointed V.K. Anand as his counsel, meaning the original petition was void.