India gang rape lawyer summoned by bar

An Indian lawyer involved in a high-profile gang rape trial who said he would burn his daughter alive if she had premarital sex has been asked to explain his remarks to bar authorities.
Defence lawyer A.P. Singh made the remarks after his clients -- Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma -- were handed the death sentence last Friday over the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi.
'We have issued a show cause notice to Mr. Singh asking him why action should not be taken against him for the misogynist comments made by him,' Surya Prakash Khatri, chairman of Bar Council of Delhi, told AFP.
'His remarks were highly objectionable,' Khatri added.
Thakur and Sharma were among four men handed the death penalty by a fast-track court after a seven-month trial in the case that sparked widespread anger at the treatment of women in India.
Singh told local media he would have 'burned my daughter alive' if she was having 'premarital sex and moving around at night with her boyfriend'.
He was apparently referring to the victim, who died of massive internal injuries after being lured on to the private bus by a gang of six following a cinema trip with her male companion in mid-December.
Singh's comments were widely slammed as disparaging.
Singh has been asked to reply by October 11 when the Council will take up the matter for a final hearing, Khatri said.
The fifth suspect in the case, bus driver Ram Singh, died in prison in March in an apparent suicide. A sixth member of the gang, who was a minor at the time of the assault, was sentenced last month to three years in a reformatory.
Singh risks losing his licence to practise law with the Bar Council stating that his comments amounted to 'professional misconduct'.
He could not be reached immediately by AFP for comment Tuesday.


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