Dec 16 gangrape case: Verdict involving juvenile deferred

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Justice
New Delhi, Aug 19: The judgement in the December 16 gangrape case, involving a minor was today again deferred till August 31 by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). The JJB, presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel, postponed the verdict on the ground that the Supreme Court is to pronounce its order on the maintainability of a PIL, seeking fresh interpretation of the term 'juvenile' in the statute.

The police, after attending today's proceedings, told the media outside the JJB that the verdict has been deferred till August 31 as the apex court has reserved its order on the maintainability of the PIL. This is the fourth time that the pronouncement of verdict has been deferred by the Board since July 11.

The Supreme Court had on August 14 reserved its order on the maintainability of a PIL filed by former MP Subramanian Swamy for a fresh interpretation of the term 'juvenile'. Referring to a provision of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Swamy has said it was "badly" drafted and needs to be revisited as it was in violation of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Beijing Rules on the issue.

He has said that the "mental and intellectual maturity" of minor offenders be considered, instead of the age limit of 18 years, while fixing their culpability. Swamy had also cited the alleged role of the juvenile in the December 16 gangrape case. The juvenile was one of six persons who had allegedly gangraped a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus here. The victim died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

PTI

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