India court scheduled to give first verdict in gang-rape case.

India court scheduled to give first verdict in gang-rape case.
A boy places a candle as demonstrators hold placards during a candlelight march for a gang rape victim, who was assaulted in New Delhi January 16, 2013.

NEW DELHI - A New Delhi court is scheduled on Saturday to hand down the first and long-delayed verdict on one of the suspects tried over the fatal gang-rape of a student, which sparked outrage in India.

A juvenile court has delayed releasing its verdict four times since wrapping up the case against the teenager charged over the savage attack on a moving bus on December 16.

The Supreme Court this month cleared the way for the principal magistrate to deliver a verdict, ruling that she could disregard a legal challenge cited as the main reason for the delay.

But given the number of delays so far, lawyers involved in the case said they were hopeful rather than confident of finally hearing a decision.

"Hopefully, the verdict will be delivered this time," Mr Rajesh Tiwari, lawyer for the juvenile, told AFP.

Six men were initially arrested over the crime in which the 23-year-old student was raped and assaulted with an iron bar.

Her male companion was also allegedly beaten up before both were thrown from the bus. The student died two weeks later from internal injuries inflicted during the attack.

The attack sparked street protests over India's failure to protect women from violence and led to parliament passing a tougher law against sex crime.

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