Jan 2 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
INDIAN politicians facing sexual assault charges may be suspended from office in the wake of the New Dehli bus rape scandal.
The country’s highest court is to rule on an application to ban regional and national MPs on sex charges.
Meanwhile thousands of women gathered at the memorial to independence leader Mohandas Gandhi to demand stronger protection for their safety.
The march came as police prepared to formally charge six suspects in the gang-rape and killing of the student in the capital two weeks ago.
The attack triggered outrage and demands for stronger laws, tougher police action against those accused of sexual assault and a sustained campaign to change society’s views on women.
As part of that campaign, Chief Justice Altamas Kabir agreed to hear a petition this week from retired government administrator Promilla Shanker asking the Supreme Court to suspend all politicians who are facing prosecution for crimes against women.
She also asked the court to force the national government to fast-track thousands of rape cases that have languished in India’s notoriously sluggish court system for years.
Six state MPs are facing rape prosecutions and two national ones are facing charges of crimes against women that fall short of rape.