The five men accused of the gang rape and murder of 23-years-old Delhi physiotherapy student Jyoti Singh Pandey have been officially charged — according to Mail Online.
The judge ordered the trial would be held "in-camera" for the suspects' own safety after chaotic scenes during which reportedly more than 150 people packed a court room meant for about 30 demanded justice for the deceased victim of a tragic gang rape story that has sparked a cultural revolution in India.
"It has become impossible for this court to conduct proceedings in this case," magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said according to Mail Online, before ordering anyone "not directly connected to the case" to exit the court room.
Unrest had broken earlier when a lawyer offered to defend the suspects suddenly refused to do so, and Supreme Court lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma was "shouted down" by colleagues who say the accused do not deserve representation — because of "the brutality of the crime."
"We are living in a modern society. We all are educated. Every accused, including those in brutal offences like this, has the legal right to represent his or her case to defend themselves," Lal Sharma had said. "I'm afraid they won't get justice, that's why I have decided to appear for them in the court," Sharma added.
Meanwhile, prosecutor Mohan, who last week claimed DNA tests confirmed that the blood of the victim matched that found on the accused, said he was seeking the death sentence.
"The five accused persons deserve not less than the death penalty," he said."
Do the accused deserve the death penalty?