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Headmaster says accused in Delhi gangrape case is juvenile: sources

The headmaster of the school where the sixth, allegedly juvenile, accused in Delhi gangrape case was studying appeared for the second time before the juvenile justice board (JJB) on Tuesday where he reportedly submitted documents proving that the teenager is a minor.

The magistrate at the JJB did not allow reporters to observe the 20-minute-long proceedings in this case.

Sources told Firstpost that the school principal submitted a xerox copy of the school admission register to establish the age of the accused. According to the school register, the only document submitted before the JJB so far to establish his age, the accused is below 18 years of age, sources said.

Representational image. PTI

The statement of the head master was also recorded by the Board.

In cases where age verification documents are non- conclusive, a bone test is done to verify age of the accused.

If the accused is proved to be a juvenile, he will be tried in the JJB under the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) Act, 2000. For crimes of serious nature, the Act mandates sending the offender to a place of safety for a maximum period of three years.

Arguments over the age of the accused with continue on 28 January, even as the trial of the other five accused continues in the Saket court.

The teenager is accused of luring the couple into the bus where they were brutally assaulted. The woman was subsequently gangraped and assaulted before being thrown off the bus, which is said to be the cause of her death.

The gangrape of the 23-year-old woman aboard a moving bus on 16 December in the national capital has sparked off a debate on the law regarding juvenile offenders. Many believe that the law is lenient and for crimes such as murder and rape, juvenile should be treated at par with adult criminals. The Delhi High court has also issued notice to the Centre on a PIL demanding reduction the age of juveniles to 16 from 18, under the law.