x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Delhi gang-rape trial venue ruling postponed by Supreme Court

A defence lawyer in the case says the postponement was caused by an outburst in court while officials say the delay was because of technical problems.

NEW DELHI // India's Supreme Court today postponed a ruling on whether the trial of five suspects for the fatal gang-rape of a student on a New Delhi bus should be moved out of the capital.

ML Sharma, a defence lawyer, filed a petition on behalf of his client Mukesh Singh seeking the transfer of the case to ensure a fair trial.

Mr Sharma said a "ruckus" caused by other lawyers in the court had led the three-judge bench in the Supreme Court hearing the petition to delay the start of proceedings until tomorrow.

Court officials attributed the delay to technical problems and said the hearing would resume at 11am tomorrow.

The five suspects face murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping and other charges, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty. A sixth suspect is being tried in a juvenile court.

The December 16 assault ignited street protests across India, particularly in New Delhi which has been dubbed the country's "rape capital" over the high incidence of such attacks.

Though gang-rapes and sexual harassment are commonplace in India, the case has touched a nerve, leading to an outpouring of criticism about the treatment of women in India.