NEW DELHI, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- A fast track court in the Indian capital Wednesday reserved the delivering of quantum of punishment to four rapists convicted in the horrific Delhi gang rape last December to Friday, said local media.
The decision was made after the defense counsel of the four rapists made a strong appeal for leniency at the court, saying they should be given life sentence instead of death as was demanded by the prosecution.
The defense counsel said the rapists are poor people and one of them is only 19 years old. They also said since terrorist suspect was given life sentence in the past, the rapists should also be spared of death. One of the lawyer said that many national lawmakers are also accused of serious crimes.
"Parliamentarians are facing charges in dacoity, rape and murder, but there is no fast-track court trying their cases," A.P. Singh, counsel for Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, two of the convicted, was quoted as saying in court at a live blog of Times of Indian online.
"The Batla House encounter-accused terrorist got life imprisonment from court. He was let off due to vote bank politics. Why were the terrorist given life sentence and these men are being considered for death penalty?" said Singh, in reference to a terrorist suspect who was convicted of killing policemen in a gunfight in Delhi years ago.
After the court convicted the accused of all 13 charges on Tuesday, including gang rape, murder and destruction of evidence, the prosecution Wednesday firmly demanded death sentence for the rapists, while public opinion overwhelmingly support maximum punishment for the convicted.
The Delhi gang rape shocked India last December after a 23-year- old medical student was brutally raped, battered on a moving bus in south Delhi by six men. She died later in a Singapore hospital.
The minor in the case was sentenced to three years in a correctional home last week, while the main accused was found hanged in jail.
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