US lauds Indian judiciary for Delhi gang-rape verdict

The United States administration has appreciated the verdict of a New Delhi court which on Friday handed down the death sentence to four of the convicts in the heinous gang-rape of a young woman on a moving bus in the Indian capital, which subsequently caused her death.

The US is divided over capital punishment, with some states allowing it while others do not. But in this case the praise for the Indian judicial system by the Barak Obama administration was unstinted.

"We are heartened to see that the Indian justice system has spoken, and the perpetrators of these heinous attacks have been convicted and sentenced in a court of law," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters.

''Like so many people in India and around the world, we were saddened by this horrific act of violence, yet moved by civil society's response at the same time," she said.

Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken over the issue this spring, and cited the woman's bravery and her fight for justice, she added.

"In India, as in all countries around the world, gender-based violence continues to be a challenge that we are focussed on countering, on working with people to counter all across the world," Harf said.

Passing the death sentence on Thursday, Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khannaa called attention to the "beastly" and "hair-raising" manner in which the crime was committed against the 23-year-old woman, and said it was in the 'rarest of rare' category, the Indian criterion for passing the death sentence. (See: Four Delhi bus rape accused sentenced to be hanged.)