The sixth accused has been declared as a juvenile by juvenile justice board, based on his school certificate. In the wake of the brutal gang-rape and murder of the 23-year-old student, there is a growing demand for lowering the age of juvenile from 18 to 16.
However, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home has decided against lowering the age of juveniles below 18 years of age despite suggestions by several members.
Moreover, Justice JS Verma panel set up by the government to form strict laws against sexual assault on women also declined to reduce the age of juvenile offenders. The sixth suspect, listed as a 17-year-old, will be tried in a juvenile court, where the maximum sentence would be three years in a reform facility. But police did not reveal juvenile's identity as it is against law.
The five accused, Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur have been chargesheeted for the offences of murder, gangrape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under the Indian Penal Code.
Currently, their trial is on at a special fast-track court in New Delhi. The sixth accused will be charged separately. Authorities have said they would push for the death penalty for the men. The victim's father said he supported the death penalty for all the six accused.