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Gangrape: Decision likely on bone test for minor accused


Updated: January 28, 2013, 8:10 AM IST
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Gangrape: Decision likely on bone test for minor accused
According to the school principal of the accused, his DOB is June 4, 1995, which makes him a minor at the time of the crime.

New Delhi: The Juvenile Justice Board in the national capital is expected to take a decision on Monday on whether the youngest accused, who claims to be a minor, in the Delhi gangrape-murder case will go through a bone test for the verification of his age or not.

The accused has already submitted his school certificates to prove that he is a juvenile. His school principal's statement has also been recorded. According to the principal, the date of birth of the accused is June 4, 1995. This makes him 17-year-6 month-11-day-old at the time
of the crime.

According to experts, if a medical board is constituted to determine the age of the accused it can conduct bone X-ray and dental test on him. Doctors say that the age determined through medical tests is in a two-year range. And as per the Rule 12 of Delhi Juvenile Justice Rules 2009, in case of an approximate age the board will consider the age on the lower side of the margin.

Earlier on January 24, the JJB dismissed a plea to try the youngest accused in the case with the other five accused. The petition, moved by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy seeking the prosecution of the sole juvenile along with the five adult accused, was rejected by the board presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel.

Janata Party General Secretary Jagdish Shetty told the media outside JJB, "Subramanian Swamy is in Chennai right now and he has been informed about the decision of the Board. We would be filing an appeal against the order in several forums including the Delhi High Court."

Swamy on January 23 moved the High Court seeking a direction to prosecute the juvenile along with other co-accused in the case, saying the waiver from prosecution to such minors was "unreasonable". The High Court had disposed of his plea, saying, "There was no cause of action to entertain this PIL at this stage."

The bench had, however, given Swamy the liberty to "take proper recourse" by moving a sessions court if the JJB did not allow his plea on the issue. The 23-year-old paramedic was gangraped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 and dumped on the road. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

"The age of 18 years as the flat cut-off waiver in criminal offences is inconsistent with the international conventions and, hence, is arbitrary and unreasonable," Swamy had told the High Court. The juvenile, who was "emotionally and mentally" mature, "must be" tried with the other five adults under IPC, he had said.

The High Court, while disposing of his petition, had said, "How can this statute [Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act] be interpreted by us in a PIL. We may do so if we get a reference from the lower court concerned." The juvenile is being tried separately by JJB while a day-to-day trial of the five adult accused is being held in a fast track court in Saket in the national capital.

First Published: January 28, 2013, 8:10 AM IST
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