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16 Dec gang rape: Verdict on juvenile on 5 August

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) has deferred the judgment in 16 December gangrape case involving a minor to 5 August. The judgment was deferred in the light of a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy in the Supreme Court for a fresh interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’.
Swamy, in his petition, has said that the mental and intellectual maturity should be considered instead of age limit of 18 years for such offenders while fixing their culpability.

Swamy had submitted in the apex court on 23 July that his plea would become infructuous if the JJB went ahead with pronouncement of verdict on the juvenile in the gangrape case, which was scheduled for Thursday. The court had then asked Swamy to inform the JJB about his pending petition in the apex court and accordingly, Swamy had informed the JJB about the direction given by the apex court. Swamy’s plea would be taken up by the apex court on 31 July.
Accused counsel said that the JJB presided by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel postponed the verdict for 5 August as the Supreme court is seized of a petition on fresh interpretation of the term. He also said that the sentence (dispositional order) in the robbery case, in which the juvenile has already been held guilty by the JJB, has also been deferred to 5 August.

The juvenile accused in the case is being tried for the gangrape and brutal assault of the paramedical student in a moving bus in the night of 16 December last year. Police had dubbed the juvenile accused as the most brutal of all the six accused persons in the case. JJB is trying the case of the minor, while four adult accused – Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur – are being tried by a special fast tract court. Proceedings against key accused Ram Singh was abated after his death.
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