NEW DELHI, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- India's Supreme Court Tuesday rejected a plea seeking the transfer of the horrific Delhi gangrape case for trial in a court outside the national capital.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, dismissed the petition which was filed by advocate M.L. Sharma, the defense lawyer of one of the six accused in the case.
The latest development followed after a sessions court informed the apex court through its report that the accused, Mukesh, no longer wants to be represented by Sharma and instead want V.K. Anand as his new defense lawyer.
"Your authority to appear in this matter has been totally denied by the accused," the Supreme Court told Sharma, rejecting his petition filed recently.
The apex court's decision came a day after an Indian court ruled that the sixth accused in the case is a minor, being a little over 17 years of age, and hence would be tried under the juvenile justice act which entails a maximum punishment of three years for anyone below 18 years of age.
However, the five other accused are on trial being heard by a fast track court, and have been charged with rape and murder charges which carry a maximum of death penalty, if convicted.
The horrific gangrape case of a 23-year-old medical student on a moving bus in the Indian capital on December 16 last year shocked the country and sparked massive public outcry over the rising number of sexual assaults on women.
The victim died of her injuries earlier this month at a hospital in Singapore, where she was shifted to after her condition worsened at a government hospital in the national capital.