The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the centre and the Delhi Police on a PIL that the juvenile accused in the horrific Delhi gangrape case be considered as an adult, reported CNN-IBN.
The ruling comes after a Chandigarh-based lawyer filed a PIL seeking same punishment for the accused who claims to be juvenile as the other five adult accused in the case. The PIL stated that the mental age, and not the physical age, of the accused should be taken into consideration, as he had been involved in such a heinous crime.
The brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old girl and her resulting death last month sparked a national outcry and calls for harsh punishment for the five people charged with the crime. The sixth accused, who claimed to be a minor, generated much debate about whether India’s juvenile crime laws should apply to particularly brutal offenses.
Police have charged five adults with rape, murder and abduction in the assault. The case of the teenager — who investigators say participated in the rape and wielded the metal rod that caused the young woman’s fatal internal injuries — was being pursued separately. Even if the five accused get capital punishment, the teenager, if charged, would face a maximum sentence of three years if tried in a juvenile court.
On Tuesday, the school principal of the accused claimed that he is a minor. The principal submitted before a Juvenile Justice Board that as per the school records the accused is 17 years and six months old.
The present and the former headmasters of the school in Bhawanipur at Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, where the juvenile had studied till Class III, appeared before the Board presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel and told her that they cannot identify the boy but know that he took admission in the school in 2002.
The former principal said during the time of admission, the boy’s father had come to admit him and mentioned his date of birth as 6 April, 1995.
Taking note of the submissions made by both the school Principals, the Juvenile Justice Board had fixed 28 January as the next date of hearing in the case.