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Indian court orders camera proceeding of hearings for gang rape case


16:55, January 14, 2013

NEW DELHI, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Fearing that the five accused in the horrifying rape case in the Indian capital last month could be lynched by angry crowds, a local court ordered camera proceeding of the hearings on Monday rather than in person at the demand of police.

Police brought the five of six thugs who brutalized and killed a 23-year-old woman in a black police armored van under heavy security, but found the courtroom too crowded to guarantee security for the five accused at the Saket courtroom in southern Delhi.

Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said: "An unprecedented situation arises when members of bar and public persons not connected with the case also have started converging the courtroom No. 207 where the present matter is going on since 12 noon."

"The courtroom has become jampacked with lots of disturbance created from different nooks and corners," he said. "It has become impossible to proceed in the case. I am passing order for in- camera proceeding. It shall not be lawful to print and publish any article in media without court permission."

Police have filed lawsuit against the five for murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping and destruction of evidence, which could lead to death sentence.

The sixth accused, who is 17 years and six months old according to his school certificates, will be presented before a juvenile justice board.

Angry protests have been going on in the Indian capital for more than three weeks since the rape was committed.

The protesters demanded quick justice for the victim by giving the harshest punishment to the six thugs involved in the case.

Meanwhile, local public opinion has also been critical of police tardiness in helping the victim in that horror night, as was revealed by the boyfriend of the victim on a local TV channel three days ago.

Police denied the criticism and said they came to the help of the victims in no time.

The gang rape case has become a highly sensitive political issue in India as well, as some have expressed arrogance of judicial authorities in dealing with the case.

Media reports said some of the accused are even trying to take advantage of the loopholes of the judicial system to escape punishment.

Two of the accused wanted to become state witnesses so that they could be given leniency, according to local media reports.

Two other accused, including the driver of the horror bus, Ram Singh, have asked for judicial support.

Some lawyers have angrily retorted at least one lawyer at the site of the Saket Court Complex in south Delhi, where the procedure was due to open Monday, for trying to give defense to the accused.

Public anger is also focused on a Hindu guru who said the victim of the gang rape was "as guilty as" her attackers, because she should have begged for pardon from her assaulters rather than fighting with them.

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