New Delhi, 25 Jul (PTI): The verdict in the December 16 gangrape case involving a minor was today deferred to August 5 by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).
The JJB presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel postponed the verdict for August 5 considering the fact that the Supreme Court is seized of a petition concerning the interpretation of the term “juvenile”, counsel for the accused Rajesh Tiwari said.
He also said that the sentence (dispositional order) in the robbery case, in which the juvenile has already been held guilty by the JJB, has also been deferred to August 5.
The JJB’s order was put off in the light of the plea of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy for a fresh interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’ which he raised in the wake of the December 16 incident in which a 23-year-old was brutally gangraped and assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Agreeing to hear his plea, the Supreme Court had on July 23 asked Swamy to inform the JJB about his pending petition in the apex court.
Accordingly, Swamy had informed the JJB about the direction given by the apex court pursuant to which he was asked by the Board to furnish an affidavit in this regard.
Swamy’s plea will come up for hearing before the apex court on July 31.
He has in his petition sought that the “mental and intellectual maturity” should be considered instead of age limit of 18 years for such offenders while fixing their culpability and contended that his plea would become infructuous if the JJB went ahead with pronouncement of verdict, which was scheduled for today.
They told the media that they were satisfied with the proceedings. The father of the victim said the juvenile deserves to be “hanged”.
The murder charge was slapped against the juvenile after the victim died.
Besides him, the four adult accused–Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur–are being tried by a special fast-track court.
Proceedings against key accused Ram Singh abated after his death on March 11 when he was found hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail here.
The police has in its charge sheet said the juvenile was the most brutal of all the accused.
However, during the inquiry before the JJB, the juvenile claimed he was innocent.
A native of Uttar Pradesh, the minor had moved to Delhi at the age of 11. He has been convicted for robbing a carpenter, Ramadhar, with the other adult co-accused by luring him into the same bus in which the girl was gangraped and assaulted.
He has been held guilty under section 395 (dacoity), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) of the IPC.
The carpenter had identified the juvenile as one of the accused on board the bus.
The minor, however, was acquitted under section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) of the IPC.