Gang rape trial yet to reach ‘fast-track’ court

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2013, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2013, 5:52pm


One month after the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus, a promised “fast-track” trial has yet to begin.

On Thursday, another pre-trial hearing ended after a few minor procedural issues were raised. Defence lawyers for the five accused men said they needed additional copies of some of the evidence.

Authorities are eager to move the case into a fast-track court after the especially brutal attack drew nationwide protests and worldwide scrutiny of violence against Indian women.

Indian courts are notoriously slow, with some cases dragging on for decades. The fast-track courts are designed to avoid the delays, incompetence and corruption that plagues much of the legal system.

Authorities have charged the men with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty. A sixth suspect, who is 17 years old, is expected to be tried in a juvenile court, where the maximum sentence would be three years in a reform facility

Lawyers for the five accused men have said police mistreated their clients, including beating them to force them to confess to the December 16 crime.