Nirbhaya gangrape case: Maneka Gandhi says juvenile will be kept under close watch

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New Delhi, Nov 2: In December 2015, it will be three years, when the bone-chilling and shocking gangrape of 23-year-old Nirbhaya took place inside a moving bus in the national capital on the night of Dec 16, 2012.

Three years after the brutal crime, the juvenile convict is all set to walk free in December. Amidst the heated debate over whether the justice has been served into the horrific gangrape case, the Women and Child Development Union Minister Mankea Gandhi stoked a controversy.

Maneka Gandhi

While talking to a news channel, Maneka expressed helplessness in extending punishment to the juvenile convict and said while law was adhered to, she was not sure whether the justice was done in one of the most gruesome cases. [Nirbhaya' parents welcome Maneka's statement on juveniles]

She advocated that a 'close watch' be kept on the accused after he is freed after completing sentence in the December 16 gangrape and murder case and said she will raise the issue with the authorities for doing so.

Reacting to the impending release of the accused, the minister said that 'justice should not be confused with law' and that he is being freed because law demands it as he was juvenile at the time of commission of crime.

"Let us not confuse justice with the law. The law said that he could only go to children home... That's the anomaly we are trying to correct. So he served his sentence and in according to the law he is coming out. And there is nothing we can do about it until or unless he commits another crime. So that is all we can do", she said.

"I don't know whether the justice has been served but certainly the law has been adhered to," the minister said and added "Yes, I am afraid we are" when asked if the government was waiting for him to commit another crime.

"He is a person who should be kept under watch. We can't just let him go and wait for him to do something else," she said.

On whether she has taken up the monitoring issue with the authorities, Gandhi said, "I will do it."

On December 15, the juvenile found guilty in the 2012 Delhi gangrape, will be released. He has turned 21 and will complete his three-year term at the prohibition centre.

Meanwhile, as per a media report, the juvenile, who is now 20-year-old "shows no signs of remorse". 

[Nirbhaya parents welcome move to lower juvenile age]

His counsellor told the media that he did not observe any positive change in him, during his rehabilitation and he has acknowledged that his minor age saved his life.

The juvenile convict, whose identity has not yet been revealed, is said to be the most brutal of all accused. Now, he has put on 10 kg weight.

In lieu of his security, he was kept in a solitary confinement and was not allowed to mingle with other inmates.

As of now, the juvenile, who is a native of Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh, is set to be released on Dec 15.

According to reports, he may be released a week before his scheduled release, as he fears for his life. He, alongwith his mother will be given Rs 20,000 and will be taken to an undisclosed location, from his shelter home.

Nirbhaya's gangrape had led to massive outrage and protests, not only in Delhi, but also across the entire country. She succumbed to her internal injuries on Dec 29, 2012 at a hospital in Singapore.

Apart from the minor convict, all other five accused were sentenced to death. But one of them was found dead inside Tihar jail on March 11, 2013.

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