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Delhi’s shame
Juvenile held guilty, to spend three years in special home
Disappointed by first conviction in case, Dec 16 rape victim’s family to appeal against verdict
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
In the first conviction in the December 16 gang-rape case, the Juvenile Justice Board on Saturday found the minor offender guilty of murder and rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist in the National Capital and sentenced him to a three-year detention in a “special home.”

Unhappy over the verdict, the victim’s family said it wanted harsher punishment for him. Three years is the maximum punishment a juvenile can be given under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The Delhi Government “special home” is meant for juveniles who are above the age of 16 and have committed heinous crimes. The minor has already spent eight months at a juvenile home during the course of his trial. According to the prosecution, he will now spend two years and four months at the “special home”.

The juvenile court had earlier ruled that the minor is guilty in the robbery case that he and four other accused had allegedly committed on December 16 last year. Later, the same night, the accused allegedly gang-raped the 23-year-old in a moving private bus which she and her male friend boarded in south Delhi. She died at a Singapore hospital on December 29. The accused were charged with the girl’s murder and the police said the minor was the most brutal among them.

The girl’s family is planning to file an appeal against the verdict. Keeping in view the brutality of the crime, the family wants the minor and the four other accused to be sentenced to death.

“We are not happy with the verdict. I waited eight months thinking that the court is with us. We feel terribly disappointed now. They all (accused) deserve the death penalty. We will appeal against the verdict,” said the victim’s mother. One of the victim’s brothers said: “Three years is not enough. We will make efforts to ensure that they all get the death sentence.”

“Pehle mujhe kanoon pe bharosa tha. Par abhi lagta hain ki garibo ke liye kanoon hi nahi hain (Earlier I had faith in the legal system, but now I realise that there is no law for the poor),” said the girl’s father. The main accused, Ram Singh, was found hanging inside his cell in Tihar Jail on March 11. The legal proceedings against him were abated after his death.

The juvenile court had postponed the verdict four times since July 11 on the grounds that the Supreme Court was yet to decide on a PIL seeking a fresh interpretation of the term 'juvenile' in the statute. On August 22, the apex court allowed the juvenile court to pass the verdict.

Earlier, the minor was brought to the juvenile court in a jail bus.

Several mediapersons from national and foreign news agencies were camping in the area since early morning. The legal proceedings were held in-camera and the verdict was pronounced in the evening.

A couple of minutes after the girl’s family left the court premises, the minor was escorted by policemen in plain clothes out of a gate. With his face covered with a pink scarf, he was pushed through a barrier of photojournalists clicking his pictures. He was then taken to the special home in a jail bus.

Victim’s brother tries to attack juvenile

The younger brother of the December 16 gang-rape victim suddenly moved towards the juvenile after the order was pronounced and tried to slap him inside the court room, sources said. He was brought under control by his parents among others.

Delhi woman gang-raped by cops

Noida: A Delhi-based woman was allegedly gang-raped by two police constables and their three friends on the outskirts of the national capital. Four of the accused, including the two PAC constables, have been arrested, said SP (City) Yogesh Singh. The 25-year-old had gone to meet her property dealer friend at his office on Friday night when the five men came in a jeep, assaulted him and raped the woman, said the SP.





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