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NEW DELHI: Lawyers at a court hearing the case of a fatal gang-rape which has shocked the nation said yesterday they would refuse to defend the men accused of taking part in the assault and murder.
Hearings are expected to begin today at the Saket district court in south New Delhi, where police will formally present a 1,000-page charge sheet against the six-person gang.
“We have decided that no lawyer will stand up to defend the rape accused as it would be immoral to defend the case,” Sanjay Kumar, a lawyer and a member of the Saket District Bar Council, said.
Kumar said the 2,500 advocates registered at the court have decided to “stay away” to ensure “speedy justice”, meaning the government would have to appoint lawyers for the defendants.
Another lawyer at the court confirmed the boycott.
Five men are expected to face charges including rape, murder and kidnapping in the Saket court, with the prosecutor likely to seek the death sentence.
The brutality and horrific nature of the attack on a 23-year-old has led to protests in the capital and elsewhere over the widespread abuse of women and sex crime in India.
She was repeatedly raped and violated with an iron bar on a bus on December 16. In 2008, Indian lawyers also refused to defend a gunman who took part in attacks on Mumbai which killed