x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Verdict for teen suspect in India gang rape case deferred

A New Delhi court trying a teenager over a fatal December gang rape yesterday deferred announcing the first verdict in the case for two weeks.

NEW DELHI // A New Delhi court trying a teenager over a fatal December gang rape yesterday deferred announcing the first verdict in the case for two weeks.

A juveniles' court has finished hearing the case of the youngest suspect, who was 17 at the time of the assault on a moving bus, and had been widely expected to announce a verdict.

The crime, which led to the 23-year-old student victim dying from internal injuries inflicted during the attack, generated widespread anger about endemic sex crime in India.

Several weeks of sometimes violent protests pushed parliament to pass a new law toughening sentences for rapists, while a round of public soul-searching sought answers to the rising tide of violence against women.

The victim's family had called for him to be tried as an adult, alongside five men initially arrested over the assault on December 16 who face the death penalty.

The trial of the adult suspects - one of whom died in jail from a suspected suicide in March - continues in a separate court but is expected to wrap up in the next few months.

The parents of the victim were present inside the small juveniles' court yesterday.

"We hope we get justice on July 25," said the mother, who has previously called for all suspects to be hanged.

The juvenile suspect, a runaway who reportedly left home aged 11, can be sent to a correctional facility for a maximum three-year term, which will take into account the time he has already spent in custody.

The teenager, the youngest of six children according to his mother, was employed to clean the bus allegedly used for the attack and often slept rough or inside the vehicle, reports say.

He has denied any involvement in the crime.