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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 851

Relatives shocked as sixth gangrape accused is declared “minor”

From R. Vasudevan—Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 29 January (Asiantribune.com):

The family of the Delhi gang-rape victim expressed shock on Monday and termed the juvenile justice board's (JJB)decision to rule the sixth accused in the case as a minor as "unfortunate" and said that they would challenge it in the court.

"The family would consult legal experts and challenge the matter in the relevant court," the brother of the girl told over phone from Delhi. The family is not ready to accept that the sixth accused get anything less than death penalty," the brother said, adding that the minor accused should also get the same punishment of death penalty for which the central government should make necessary changes in the law.

"How can the family accept that the main accused is let off with a mere three year imprisonment," he asked. On the decision of the juvenile board, the brother said that it is based on his school documents whereas he should have been sent for medical examination. He expressed apprehension of some kind of "fraud" in mentioning the date of birth in school documents and alleged that the minor accused was the one who had played the main role in the incident.

Earlier on Monday, the sixth accused in the case was declared by the JJB in Delhi as a "minor", which would enable him to walk free by June 4, this year when he attains the age of 18 years.

The accused, who was described as the most brutal of the six accused by the Delhi Police in its charge sheet, was declared as 17 years and six months and 24 days-old (as of today) by the JJB, which relied on his birth certificate and school documents produced before it.

Section 15 (g) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act mandates that a juvenile aged between 16-18 years if convicted of any offence can be sentenced to be sent to a special home for a period of three years at the maximum, and, thereafter, be released on probation.

However, section 16 of the Act also provides that a juvenile can only be kept at the special home till he attains 18 years of age and he cannot be sent to jail thereafter, which in effect will result in his release. The JJB also rejected the police's plea for bone ossification test of the sixth accused for determining his age.

- Asian Tribune -

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