An Indian judge has ordered the trial of five men accused in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a bus last month to be shifted to a special fast-track court in New Delhi. 

The hearing of the December 16 gang rape and murder case of a 23-year-old medical student will be held in a fast track
court from January 21 and it will be on a day-to-day basis for five of the six defendants.

Charges against a sixth suspect, a juvenile, will be handled separately. 

VK Anand, a lawyer for one of the defendants said on Thursday that he would petition the Supreme Court to have the trial moved out of New Delhi as he doubted his client would receive a fair hearing in the capital.

Anand said the accused were "very much afraid of this that they will not get a fair trial, they will not get justice, because certain pressures are there and particularly being the capital, Delhi.

"In the interest of justice, this case must be transferred to other state other than Delhi to may be UP (Uttar Pradesh) itself."

The victim of the rape died at a Singapore hospital in December from injuries sustained during the assault. 

The case triggered nation-wide uproar against the Indian legal system and brought international attention to the issue of sexual violence. 

If convicted, the adult defendants could be sentenced to death.

Source: Agencies