Delhi gang-rape: Minor convicted, gets 3 years in reform home - The New Indian Express

Delhi gang-rape: Minor convicted, gets 3 years in reform home

Published: 31st August 2013 04:09 PM

Last Updated: 31st August 2013 09:14 PM

In the first conviction in the December 16 gangrape case, the juvenile accused was today found guilty of murder and rape of the 23-year-old girl but he got away with a maximum of three years imprisonment mandated under the juvenile law.

The juvenile who was six months short of 18 years was, however, acquitted by the Juvenile Justice Board of attempt to murder of the paramedic's male friend, who was the sole eye witness to the dastardly incident that shook the nation.

The verdict came under attack from the mother of the victim who said it was not acceptable to her.

"There was no need for these proceedings. We have been fooled. I don't accept the judgement. What was the need for keeping us waiting for the whole day," the victim's mother said after the verdict.

The Board, presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel sentenced the minor to three years in a probation home, the maximum punishment that can be awarded under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The eight months already spent by the juvenile in custody during the inquiry will be considered as period already served and would be deducted from the three years sentence.

The Board had on July 11 also convicted the accused, a cleaner in the bus in which the victim was raped on the fateful night, in another case of robbery.

It today awarded him the sentence already undergone by him in the probation home for robbing Ramadhar, a carpenter who had boarded the bus but was thrown out before the gangrape victim and her friend were assaulted.

On the night of December 16, last year, the 23-year-old victim, a paramedic student, was gangraped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus. The victim later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29, last.

The four adult accused are being tried by a fast-track court in Saket here. Another accused Ram Singh was found dead on March 11 in his cell in Tihar Jail and the trial against him has been abated.

The four other adult accused facing trial in the case before the special court are Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.

The verdict was pronounced behind closed doors, directing the people present inside including the accused, prosecution, defence counsel and the victim's family members not to disclose the contents of the 60-page judgement.

The father of the victim demanded death for the minor, while her mother could not hide her displeasure over the verdict. She started weeping after coming out of the court room and spoke about the judgement.

The minor's counsel Rajesh Tiwari claimed the sentence is subject to review in future depending upon his conduct.

Apart from the offences of murder and gangrape, the Board also convicted the juvenile under sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 364, 365, 366, 367 (kidnapping or abducting for murder, to defile a woman, etc) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the police told the mediapersons.

The Board also held him guilty for offences under sections 377 (unnatural offences), 395 (dacoity), 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing that it was obtained by dacoity), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, they said.

While acquitting him of attempting to murder the victim's male friend, the Board also acquitted him of the offences under sections 396 (murder during dacoity) and 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the IPC, the sources said.

The verdict in the case was pronounced as the apex court had on August 22 allowed the Board to pronounce the judgement in the case against the juvenile, who according to the police, was the "most brutal" of all the six accused persons.

The pronouncement of verdict had been deferred by the Board four times since July 11, when the minor was convicted for robbing a carpenter.

The Board had concluded on July 5 its inquiry that began in March against the juvenile. It had reserved the judgement after it heard final arguments from both the prosecution and the defence in the case.

Also read:

Victim's family not satisfied with Juvenile Board's verdict

Juvenile homes are hell-holes India should be ashamed of

Delhi gang-rape: SC allows JJB to deliver verdict involving minor

Experts welcome apex court decision on juvenile age

SC refuses to reduce age of juvenile from 18 to 16 years


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