NEW DELHI: With the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case set to be released next week, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has filed a plea in the Delhi High Court, contending that he should not be released from the Observation Home till it is demonstrably assured that he is not a menace to society.
The High Court sought the Centre’s response on Friday on the measures taken, if any, regarding the post-release rehabilitation of the juvenile.
The juvenile will walk out of the Observation Home on December 15 after serving the stipulated three-year imprisonment. A bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked whether a management committee had been constituted as per the Juvenile Justice Rules, and if so, what its activities were.
The court also issued a notice to the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home Affairs and the juvenile convict through the Juvenile Justice Board and also asked the government to get instructions from the committee and listed the matter for a hearing on December 14. The court questioned the government’s plan of rehabilitation after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and the Central government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh submitted there was no opposition to the extension of the juvenile’s stay at the Observation Home.
They also said that as per rules, the committee has to make plans for his post-release rehabilitation. Jasmeet also informed the court about the Intelligence Bureau report on how the juvenile, during his stay in the special home, had been radicalised.
The court, however, asked the standing counsel to place the report before it in a sealed cover. The government was responding to the petition filed by Swamy, who claimed that there were lacunae in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, as amended in 2011.
In his petition, Swamy contended that “no provision has been made in the Act to provide for vicious, unregenerate convicted juveniles, who despite having undergone the reformation process for the maximum penalty of three years’ custody in a special home, continue to be a menace to society”. A provision has to be made to deal with such juveniles for a further period in such a manner that he does not prove a menace to society, he argued. “The question arises, in a very acute form, in the instant gang-rape case, where the respondent number 1 (juvenile), one of the offenders, who was adjudged to be under 18 years of age at the time of the offence, is about to complete the maximum period of the offence prescribed and yet it is learnt that there is a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs where from it emerges that this juvenile has not reformed but has become worse, having been radicalised by association with another juvenile convicted of involvement in the 2011 Delhi High Court blast,” the plea said.