Nirbhaya case: Juvenile to walk free on 20 December; Centre opposes

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Juvenile1The juvenile in the Nirbhaya case may be released on December 20 unless the Delhi High Court intervenes.

The central government’s concerns were raised by an Intelligence Bureau assessment that claimed the juvenile had been radicalised and wanted his detention period extended.

The Delhi government had unveiled a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile, that will give him a one-time financial grant of Rs 10,000 and arrange a sewing machine so that he can rent a tailoring shop.

According to an official report, the juvenile needs help to sustain a business for six months and have funds to meet expenses such as renting a shop, buying tailoring material, a signboard, receipt books and hangers.

One day before his release, the juvenile’s parents and close kin will be brought to Delhi, at the state’s expense. The official report says officials will accompany the convict, who is aged 20 years, to his home state “in a private taxi other than the one in which they were brought to Delhi”.

However, the central government objected to the move and sought extension of the juvenile’s detention period. Additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain urged before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath to extend his detention and questioned the Delhi government’s silence on his “condition” in view of the IB report. The convict was allegedly radicalised by a fellow inmate, raising concerns within the security establishment.

The juvenile has served the maximum detention period of three years permitted under the Juvenile Justice Act.

After hearing the arguments, verdict of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s petition seeking a stay on the juvenile’s release was stayed. In his plea, Swamy said that although the juvenile’s term may have ended, but the court can “ limit ” his movements.