No room for gang-rape accused in crowded courtroom
New Delhi: Five of the six men accused in the gang-rape of a 23-year-old arrived in the Saket district court premises here on Monday but could not be presented before the metropolitan magistrate as a huge crowd of journalists, lawyers and onlookers packed into the courtroom. The court said it would not hear the case unless the crowd dispersed. Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said that there was no space in the courtroom to present the five accused and left for her chamber.
Around 40 security personnel are also deployed inside the courtroom for security. Controversy has arisen over who will defend the five accused — the sixth is a juvenile — alleged to have gang-raped and tortured the young physiotherapy intern in a moving bus on December 16. She died of her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Some lawyers on Monday said they were willing to represent the accused but others expressed their anguish. One advocate told the court that he was approached by the family of the accused, asking him to defend them. "I was approached by the family of accused, I should be allowed to meet them here to sign the 'vakalatnama' (contract with the lawyer)," said the advocate.