Juvenile Justice Board orders 17-year-old to be tried as adult in rape case
This is the first order in a rape case since the amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
New Delhi: In a first order of its kind, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) has directed that a teenager would face trial as an adult in a heinous offence of allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl, saying he had committed the crime "meticulously" and in a "planned manner".
JJB Presiding Officer Arul Verma rejected the submission of the counsel for the boy, whose age was assessed to be 17 years, that it was consensual relationship between him and the girl, saying there was not an iota of evidence that would lend credence to this assertion.
"The prosecutrix has taken a consistent stand with respect to the factum of rape by the CCL (child in conflict with law). The injuries on the body of the victim further substantiate this version," the board said.
"A perusal of the records viz. statements of the victim also reveal that the CCL meticulously and in a planned manner, committed the alleged offence. From picking her from school on a bike, then taking her in a car, purchasing alcohol, going to a flat are the sequence of events ...," it said.
"This board under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, is of the considered view that there is a need for trial of the CCL as an adult and thus the trial of the present case is hereby transferred to the designated Children's Court having jurisdiction to try such offences," the JJB said, directing that the accused be produced there on 23 August.
This is the first order in a rape case since the amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which allowed the Board to transfer cases of heinous offences by children to the sessions court.
As per section 2(33) of the Act, "heinous offences" include the offences for which minimum punishment under IPC or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment for seven years or more.
Earlier, JJB had transferred to sessions court a murder case and Mercedes hit-and-run case allegedly involving minors for being tried as adults.
In her complaint, the girl had said she had initially not disclosed the incident to anyone as the accused had allegedly video-recorded the act and threatened her with dire consequences if she reported the matter.
According to the FIR, the girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by her teenaged friend who had forcibly taken her on a motorcycle from outside her school on 31 March and took her to an apartment in Noida where he allegedly raped her.
An FIR was registered at Bhajan Pura police station in North East Delhi for the alleged offences including gangrape, kidnapping, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy of the IPC and under the provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The board concurred with the contentions of the counsel for the victim, advocates Satya Prakash Gautam and Suman Arora, that the circumstances were created by the boy and it was not a case of some "conducive or instigating circumstances".
It also observed that the boy did not suffer from any hallucination, delusion or any perception dysfunction as per his mental status examination and the only flaw that was pointed out in his thought process was "immaturity" in problem solving and "negative peer influence". "The CCL was in a normal state of mind, and it is not the case that he was provoked or pressurised to commit the act. He himself got the victim in an inebriated state, facilitating the commission of the crime. Thus it is explicit that CCL had the requisite mental capacity to commit the crime," the juvenile board said.
The school admission register, the only document, submitted so far confirms the fact, said sources.
Police also filed an enquiry report for the robbery allegedly committed by the juvenile and his five co-accused before the gangrape.