NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police, in its report, has inexplicably stated that there is “less chance of public order being disturbed” if the juvenile accused in the Nirbhaya case is released. It also said there are no “immediate cases” registered in Delhi or other parts of the country against the rapist-murderer. A top police officer said: “There is no ample evidence. The Central intelligence agencies had prepared a report and shared it with us. However, it will not stand in a court of law.”
The criminal’s advocate, Rajesh Tiwari, has prepared a strong defence if the government refuses to let him go scot-free. He remained tightlipped over the issue.
“Imposing NSA is not possible on the juvenile legally. The prosecution will have to show enough material and substance to corroborate that his activity has been anti-national. Even if MHA imposes such a section, it is legally untenable,” said lawyer Rajesh Kumar Mishra, who specialises in juvenile cases. “The only way the court can intervene is to send him to a reformation home keeping in mind the anger and anguish prevailing in society against the accused,” he said.
Delhi does not want the juvenile criminal in the December 16, 2012, gangrape to go scot-free, but the police think it is fine for him and safe for the city’s women if he walks the streets again.
Joint Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak refused to comment on police unwillingness to book the rapist under NSA.
He told The Sunday Standard, “The matter is before the Honourable High Court. We will follow its direction.”
On BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea last week that the rapist shouldn’t be released till it is demonstrably assured that he has reformed, the Delhi High Court sought the Centre’s response on the measures taken, if any, regarding his post-release rehabilitation. It also issued notices to the law ministry, MHA and the juvenile convict through the Juvenile Justice Board, and asked the government to get instructions from the committee. The matter is listed for hearing on December 14. A police officer said the court has sought a report from the management committee of children in need of care and protection and the Juvenile Justice Board. Further action will be taken on the basis of the report. Sources also said that he will return to his home town.
The former juvenile was most brutal of the rapists. One of the accused Ram Singh, who later committed suicide in Tihar jail, had said in his confessional statement that the juvenile was ‘frustrated over being unable to rape the victim in the last, and used his bare hands to rip out her internal organs’.
When SC said ‘No’ to Juvenile Law
In March 2013, Supreme Court had junked plea of Muhammad Moin Faridulla Qureshi, an accused in the 1993 Bombay blasts on the ground that he was juvenile at the time of offence. Moin was seeking leniency under the Juvenile Justice Act since he was only 17 years and three months old when the serial attacks left 357 people dead and over 700 others injured.
A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan rejected the plea, and upheld life term awarded to him by the trial court, saying that terrorists could not be categorised as majors or minors. Moin had participated in filling RDX and iron scraps in vehicles at Al-Hussaini Building, and with other co-accused lobbed hand grenades at Mahim Fishermen Colony.
“It is clear that the appellant from his conduct referred to above cannot by any stretch of imagination qualify as a child in need of care and protection as the acts committed by him are so grave and heinous warranting the maximum penalty but the Designated Court after considering all these factors awarded him lesser punishment when the co-accused who accompanied him to Fishermen’s Colony and committed similar acts were awarded with the maximum punishment for heinous acts committed by them along with co-accused.”
“Anti-social operation of the appellants was not designed against any individual, rather proved to be security risk...,” the bench said.