Delhi gangrape: SC allows juvenile board to pass verdict on minor accused

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juvenileNew Delhi, August 22; The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) to deliver its verdict in the December 16 gangrape-cum-murder case involving a minor.

The apex court, however, admitted a plea seeking fresh interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’ in the statute on the basis of mental and intellectual maturity of minor offenders instead of the age limit of 18 years while fixing their culpability.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam agreed to hear former MP Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking fresh interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’ but said the JJB can go ahead with pronouncing the verdict in the case.

The bench also issued notice to the Centre on Mr. Swamy’s plea.

Earlier, the apex court had said that the JJB be informed not to pronounce its verdict involving the juvenile, who was one of six persons who had allegedly brutally gangraped a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in New Delhi, till it decides the PIL. The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

On August 19, the JJB, presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel, had postponed till August 31, the verdict for the fourth time since July 11, on the ground that a PIL had been filed in the Supreme Court.

The inquiry against the juvenile in the gangrape and robbery case had concluded on July 5. While the verdict in the gangrape-cum-murder case is yet to be pronounced, he has already been held guilty of robbing a carpenter who had boarded the bus the same night. The sentence, however, is yet to be awarded.

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