Suspect in Delhi gang-rape case appeared in TV show in 2010

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A driver charged with the gang-rape and murder of a student on his bus in New Delhi was accused of drink driving by a former employer when he appeared on a reality TV show in 2010, footage showed on Friday.

Ram Singh, one of six people accused of the fatal Dec 16 attack on a 23-year-old student, featured in Aap Ki Kachehri (Your Court), a show hosted by former top police officer Kiran Bedi who tries to resolve civil disputes.

Singh, wearing a loose bright orange shirt, argued on the programme that he was entitled to compensation from his employer for injuries that he suffered while driving one of their buses in the capital.

But his employer, who also appeared on the show, in turn accused Singh of "drunk, negligent and rash driving" and alleged that he had taken the bus out despite being told it had been withdrawn from service.

"He alleged that his employer had not financially assisted him with hospital bills following the accident," Ms Bedi told The Times of India.

"The employer refused to pay any compensation as he alleged that Singh had a history of irresponsible behaviour. Singh did not get any compensation at the end of the show," she added.

The episode also showed Singh pleading that he was a widower and had a young son to take care of.

"All I want is the compensation so that I can live the rest of my life peacefully and bring up my son nicely," Singh said, standing on a podium and facing the judge.

Singh and his five co-accused are alleged to have taken turns to rape the woman as well as assaulting her male companion before throwing them off the moving bus.

The victim died in a Singapore hospital, 13 days after the attack, which triggered mass protests across India.

Singh, if convicted, could face the death penalty.

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