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Delhi rape trial: Lawyers bully ‘beast’ colleague as court to go in camera

Lawyers offering to defend the five accused in the December Delhi gang rape case, who will stand trial in a special Saket fast-track court, faced heckles from other lawyers in court yesterday, which is considering making the proceedings private.

The New York Times wrote: “Tens of lawyers, many of them female, had gathered in the court to oppose a handful of lawyers who were offering to represent the accused. Calling the accused men ‘beasts,’ many lawyers argued that those who commit crimes with brutality don’t deserve to be represented, especially by private lawyers. Scuffles broke out between the two groups, adding to the commotion.”

Firstpost added more background on the judge’s 2pm order, which is contested by media houses lawyers, to make the hearings in camera:

The order was passed by the judge in the post-lunch session after a ruckus set off by an emotionally-charged group of lawyers prevented the scheduled appearance of the five accused at 12.30 pm in open court.

The commotion began when a lawyer began a tirade against another lawyer M L Sharma who said he was approached by the family of one of the accused to represent them. He was also shouted at by women lawyers who had gathered in the courtroom.

Appeals by the Delhi Police refused to calm the lawyers down and the commotion continued even after the judge arrived at 12.30 pm.

The judge’s warning that she would not call the accused to appear before the court till the lawyers cleared the way for the accused went unheeded to. Meanwhile, two lawyers told the judge that they wanted to represent the accused and were directed by her to first meet the accused in Tihar Jail and get their consent before approaching the court again.

Also read: ‘Immoral’ for lawyers to represent rape accused say Saket advocates

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