Indian Judge Bans Media Coverage of Gang Rape Trial

Leaving angry people in the dark will no doubt calm things down


 A judge on Monday banned reporting on the New Delhi trial of a gang rape case that has attracted worldwide attention, responding to a chaotic courtroom crammed with members of the news media and a large number of female lawyers who said no one should represent the accused.

"The courtroom is jam-packed with a lot of disturbance from different nooks and corners," said the judge, Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal, in New Delhi's Saket district. "It has become completely impossible to carry out proceedings in this manner."

Calling the case an "unprecedented situation," the magistrate invoked an occasionally used statute, Section 327 of India's Code of Criminal Procedure, which makes it illegal for anyone unconnected to a case to be in the courtroom during trial and makes it "unlawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to any such proceedings, except with the previous permission of the court."