India's Supreme Court will hear a petition Thursday asking it to suspend all lawmakers who face charges for crimes against women. The petition was filed in the aftermath of the brutal gang rape, which sent thousands of outraged protesters to the streets for days.
"This unfortunate episode has galvanized the nation," said Jagdeep S. Chhokar, an official with the Association for Democratic Reforms, which tracks political candidates' criminal records.
Chhokar said six Indian state lawmakers are facing rape charges in unrelated cases, and two people in the federal parliament are also facing charges of crimes against women that fall short of rape.
The group says that in the past five years, political parties across India have nominated 260 candidates facing charges of crimes against women such as assault and outraging the modesty of a woman.