Indian Court Bans Media Coverage of Gang-Rape Trial
As the six suspects are brought to trial in Dehli for the rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student, conflicts erupt in the courtroom.
One of India's most hotly debated criminal cases of recent memory went to trial Monday in a Delhi court, but TV cameras and other media won't get to cover it.
The six suspects – who are accused of gang-raping and assaulting a young woman in a moving bus on Dec. 16 leading to the victim's eventual death – were brought to court under heavy police security.
In a courtroom thick with anticipation of the first public appearance of the accused since the crime, heated arguments began even before the trial could get underway as lawyers sought to persuade other lawyers not to defend the accused.
While the next hearing was adjourned until Thursday, given the chaotic situation, the court passed a gag order banning any media coverage of the proceedings.
“It shall not be lawful to print or publish any matter or content in this case, except with the permission of this court,” metropolitan magistrate Namrita Aggarwal said in her order, adding: “An unprecedented situation arises when members of the bar and public persons not connected with the case started converging on the courtroom, which has become jam-packed with lots of disturbance created from different nooks and corners.”
Media reports said that also present in court were a large group of female lawyers sporting a red ribbon on their black gowns - an expression of solidarity with the victim.