Under the present law, the juvenile could be free in a few months, even if he gets the maximum three-year sentence. If he is held guilty after turning 18, he can’t be kept in a correction home. But a juvenile who has turned 18 can’t be transferred to jail since the law does not allow those tried under the Juvenile Justice Act to be kept in a jail meant for adults.
Cops seek juvenile board nod for minor’s bone test
Delhi Police is yet to get approval for an ossification test on the accused to ascertain his age. While filing the chargesheet, police told the trial court that the sixth accused had not been named as the date of birth given in his school certificate showed him to be a minor. After the hearing, special public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said a chargesheet would be filed against the juvenile offender shortly and the documentation work for that is less taxing than in the case of the other accused. He said that as per the law, the court will also hold an inquiry to ascertain the age of the juvenile.
“Each one of them (the accused) had a specific role in the commission of the offence. So, they are equally liable for the crime. We have sufficient evidence against all the accused, including the juvenile offender,” he said.
Sources said the police moved an application before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Thursday, seeking its permission to get the test conducted for establishing whether the accused is a juvenile or not.
Even as the chargesheet was being filed, some lawyers and others shouted slogans in the court demanding that the accused be handed over to the public. They need not be tried as it was evident that they were the culprits, they contended. They were, however, hushed up by fellow lawyers, who requested the judge to appoint a “spokesperson” who can inform others about the daily developments as the matter has touched public sentiments.
The judge asked them to put their views before the area magistrate concerned on the next date of hearing.
Before the filing of the chargesheet, women lawyers protested in the court complex demanding swift justice and strict action against the perpetrators of such crimes.