NEW DELHI: DCW chief Swati Maliwal today sought intervention of the Chief Justice of India and the President against releasing of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape case, saying he must be kept in observation home until his reformation is ascertained.
Terming the Delhi High Court's refusal to stay the release of the juvenile as a "dark day" in the history of the country, Maliwal shot off letters to President Pranab Mukherjee, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and the Principal Magistrate of Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) Murari Prasad Singh.
"In light of the particularly heinous nature of the crime executed by this boy, the DCW requests your Hon'ble self to kindly intervene in the matter and ensure that the boy be kept in the observation home at least until his mental frame of mind and reformation is properly ascertained," she said in her letter.
"If your Hon'ble self deems fit, a committee may be set up consisting of the DCW and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) with directions to create a team of the best counsellors from across the country to visit the boy at the home and assess the current mental state of the boy and the quality of reformation that he has undergone," she said.
The findings of the team may assist your Hon'ble self in taking a decision in the case, Maliwal added.
Referring to the High Court order, Maliwal said that though she understands that both the governments and the courts are bound by the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, it was necessary to assess the mental condition of the youth in larger public interest as he is viewed as a threat to the society.
Maliwal sought President Pranab Mukherjee's intervention for the quick passage of the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.
"It is imperative that the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill which seeks to reduce the juvenile age to 16 years in certain categories of cases is pending with the Rajya Sabha is passed along with the requisite amendments for putting in place strong review mechanism of the mental reformation undergone by a juvenile convict before his or her release.
"I request you to kindly intervene for the quick passage of the said Bill," she said.
The DCW chairperson said that "recently Nirbhaya's parents had met me and expressed their deep anguish over the imminent release. Their anger and anguish is shared by many citizens of Delhi, including me. In addition, people are unaware of the supposed reformation the said boy has undergone and worry about him repeating the offence... "Since the status of the boy's mental reformation has not been properly ascertained, in larger public interest it may be pertinent to detain him at least until the same is done," she said in her letter.
Brushing aside the public outcry against his release, High court today said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's plea seeking stay on the release of juvenile convict cannot be allowed as the statutory and existing law was coming in its way.