India’s Supreme Court dismissed a plea that requested the transfer of the New Delhi gang rape trial to take place outside the city.
M.L. Sharma, attorney for some of the “rape gang,” filed the petition on behalf of Mukesh Singh, one of the five accused in the fatal rape that led to a young woman’s death. The petition claims that the press coverage of the trial and continued agitations have created a bias against the accused.
The petition also said that “personal interest shown by the chief minister as well as various cabinet ministers” in the case would cause the judiciary to be “under pressure to work against the petitioner.”
The chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, and other government figures, have pledged to make the city safer for women since the incident.
Sources say the plea was dismissed because of questions raised about Mr. Sharma’s authority to represent the accused, rather than on the substance of the plea.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, said in dismissing the plea, “Your authority to appear in this matter has been totally denied by the accused.”
Mr. Sharma and a second lawyer, V.K. Anand, have both claimed to be representing Mr. Singh. The Supreme Court rejected the plea following an investigation that determined that Mr. Singh was actually represented by advocate V.K. Anand.
The five men are facing the death penalty if convicted for murder.
Justice needs to be served, but do you think there can be a fair trial in New Delhi, or do you believe the five will face the same scrutiny elsewhere?
SOURCE: NY Times