NEW DELHI: To Nirbhaya’s mother, the dismissal of a plea from Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts in the gangrape of her daughter in 2012, claiming that he was a juvenile at the time of incident, came as a “big relief” on Thursday.
Justice Suresh Kait, who had posted the case for consideration in January next year, was informed by the counsel for Nirbhaya’s parents that the plea needs to be heard on priority. The order was recalled and hearing was slotted for afternoon.
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When the hearing began in the second half of the day, Justice Kait waited for Pawan’s counsel AP Singh to come forward but no one appeared. It led to the dismissal of the plea along with imposition of a `25,000 fine on Singh for failing to appear despite repeated calls and using delaying tactics. The court also directed the Bar Council of Delhi to take action against Singh for filing a misleading affidavit pertaining to the petitioner’s age.
During the hearing, Nirbhaya’s mother addressed the court and said the same petition had been rejected by the trial court and wasn’t raised before the Supreme Court. The petitioner had sought the court’s direction for an ossification test to determine his age and settle the question of juvenility.
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The plea stated that no ossification test was conducted by the investigating officers and claimed that the juvenility claim could be raised at any time. The counsel portrayed Gupta as an innocent boy falsely implicated by anti-social elements due to a revengeful motive, with the help of police officials.
The age conundrum
Pawan, in his plea, said that as per his school certificate his date of birth was October 8, 1996. However, as per the age verification report of the police, his father had stated that he was born on June 17, 1992, which meant he was over 18 years at the time of the offence on December 16, 2012.