Private gang rape trial brings issues of death penalty to India society
(WNN) New Delhi, INDIA, SOUTH ASIA: In an hour long court discussion covering whether India’s Saket court should be open to the public on the gang rape case that has rocked the human rights activists throughout the world, Judge Yogesh Khanna placed the case under privacy and closed doors today.
Opening arguments for the case that will be placing five men – Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh – on trial for the what advocates call the most “serious” gang rape case in India’s capital city, New Delhi, will begin on January 24. A separate legal process for an additional unnamed and under-aged 17-year-old assailant in the gang rape case will be handled in India’s juvenile court.
Dying almost two weeks following her sexual attack by what is thought to be five men and one teenager, the unnamed female college student died from internal injuries thirteen days following the brutal attack on a public transportation bus in New Delhi. Following the death of the woman and the sexual attack of her male friend on an ‘illegal’ private transport bus, protesters inside India and across the globe went to the streets to express their outrage to stop increased rape violence in India as crowd control police used tear gas to control violence that broke out with the crowds inside Delhi.
“Sitting judges seldom speak publicly. But enough is enough,” said India’s Supreme Court Justice Gyan Sudha Misra on December 21, 2012 to the Hindustan Times, as she also expressed that her individual voice was the voice of citizen, not a Supreme Court Judge.
In a case that could give the death penalty in India, the rape case will be outlining charges of kidnapping against the accused.
Prosecutors in the case will also be bringing a statement made by the 23-year-old victim in the case before she died that was made from her hospital bed in a Singapore hospital where she was flown on emergency care.
Defending attorneys in the case are saying that widespread online and television coverage of the gang rape in India will cause bias in the case said India’s television network NDTV.
As advocates intensify efforts to stop violence against women in the region, the government of India has promised that the case will receive “fast track” treatment.
Since the December 16 incident issues in India surrounding the use of the death penalty as a punishment is also under scrutiny by human rights advocates.
“The anger felt towards the suspects is completely understandable, as is the desire to impose stricter laws around sexual violence to ensure that what happened in Delhi in December never happens again. But imposing the death penalty would just perpetuate the cycle of violence,” said Amnesty International India Director Ananth Guruswamy in a January 3 CNN editorial.
“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, regardless of the circumstances or the nature of the crime. It is the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment, and a violation of a fundamental human right — the right to life,” continued Guruswamy.
Story correction note: WNN corrected information about the gang rape location. The bus where the gang rape occurred was an ‘illegal’ private transport bus, not a public transport bus in New Delhi.
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