Sunday 15 December 2019

Lawyer claims accused in rape case is a 'child'

Muneeza Naqvi New Delhi

ONE of the five men charged with gang-raping and killing a 23-year-old student on a bus in India's capital is a minor, his lawyer said yesterday.

Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer for Mukesh Singh, demanded an age-determination test in what could be a tactic to delay the case from being tried in a fast-track court.

Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer for Mukesh Singh, said at a court hearing that his client is under 18, and that police documents indicating Singh was 26 had been "manipulated".

"If you could just see his face, he is only a child," Mr Sharma said.

The five charged in the attack in New Delhi face a possible death penalty if convicted. A sixth suspect says he is 17 years old, and if he is tried in a juvenile court he would face a maximum sentence of three years in a reform facility.

The rape and brutal beating of the woman, who died of severe internal injuries, has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such tragedies. Protesters and politicians have called for tougher rape laws, police reforms and a transformation in the way the country treats women.

Irish Independent

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