Indian gang rape lawyers are wrong to deny men’s justice
GANG rape is big news in India:
Lawyers at an Indian court hearing the case of a fatal gang-rape say they will refuse to defend the men accused of taking part in the brutal attack. The 23-year-old victim died in hospital at the weekend after 13-day struggle to survive injuries so grievous that part of her intestines had to be removed.
The medical student was allegedly raped and assaulted with an iron rod before being thrown from a speeding bus, along with her male companion.
Six men arrested over the attack have been charged with murder. Hearings are expected to begin on Thursday at the Saket district court in south New Delhi, where police will formally present a 1,000-page charge sheet against the men.
“We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case,” said Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council.
This is wrong. Defence lawyers must defend. It’s what they signed up for.
Police have arrested five men and a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of the student’s murder.
The men include 33-year-old Ram Singh, the bus driver, and his brother Mukesh, both of whom lived in the Ravidas slum in south Delhi.Another accused is Vinay Sharma, 19, a gym assistant whose father has called for him to be executed, saying: “I want my son to hang. Why did he go with these people?” A fourth member of the group, Pawan, is a fruit vendor who went to live in the same slum with his family last year. The unidentified 17-year-old evaded capture by police for more than a week, before being caught in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
There is call for justice. You can’t have it unless the defence lawyers go to work before an impartial judge.
Image: Indian women carry placards and banners as they offer prayers for a gang rape victim, at Mahatma Gandhi memorial, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. India’s top court says it will decide whether to suspend lawmakers facing sexual assault charges as thousands of women gathered at the memorial to independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi to demand stronger protection for their safety. The banners read “India won’t tolerate women’s insult and We want respect not violence in life.”