Court delays verdict in Delhi gang-rape case

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NEW DELHI: An Indian court trying a teenager over the fatal gang-rape of a student in December on a bus in the capital delayed announcing the first verdict in the case on Thursday, lawyers said.

The juvenile court has finished hearing the case of the teenager, who was aged 17 at the time of the deadly assault which shocked India and sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests.

The verdict had been deferred from July 11 to July 25 and was again delayed on Thursday by principal magistrate Geetanjli Goel to August 5 because of a legal challenge.

“The reason is because there is a case pending in the Supreme Court,” defense lawyer Rajesh Tiwari told reporters outside.

Politician Subramanian Swamy, the head of the Janata Party, has filed a petition arguing that suspects aged over 16 who are accused of serious offences should be tried in adult courts. The crime, which saw the 23-year-old victim die of internal injuries inflicted during the savage attack on a moving bus, generated widespread anger about endemic sex crime in India.

Public outrage and protests pushed parliament to pass a new law toughening sentences for rapists, while a round of public soul-searching sought to explain the rising tide of violence against women.

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