Dec 16 gang-rape: Verdict on juvenile reserved till Aug 5

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The verdict on the minor accused in the Dec 16, 2012 gang rape here has been reserved till Aug 5. The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), which was to have delivered its verdict July 11, had deferred it till Thursday.

"The verdict on the involvement of the minor accused in the rape case will be delivered Aug 5," JJB defence counsel Rajesh Tiwari said Thursday.

The incident occurred in Munirka in south Delhi when a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was beaten and gang raped in a bus that she and her male companion had boarded.

The boy, who was 17-and-a-half-years-old at the time of the incident, has turned 18.

The accused could face a maximum punishment of a three-year stay in a special home, including the time already spent in detention during the board proceedings.

on July 23, the Supreme Court asked Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy to inform the JJB that it was seized of his plea that in heinous crimes, the age limit had to be read with the mental and intellectual level of the accused.

When informed that the JJB was going to pronounce its order on the juvenile accused July 25, an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam said: "You can inform them that we are seized of the matter."

Swamy has said in his petition that in the objects of the Juvenile Justice Act, it is stated that it was being enacted in pursuance to the UN convention on the rights of a child but what in effect emerged was a truncated version in which the crucial aspect of the mental and intellectual level of the juvenile accused did not find any mention.

The boy has been separately held guilty on robbery charges, the sentence for which will also be pronounced Aug 5.

The victim had succumbed to injuries Dec 29 at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she had been airlifted for specialised treatment.

The incident sparked protests across the country with some people demanding the execution of the accused and some calling for chemical castration.

Six people - five of them adults - have been charged in the case, which is being heard by a fast-track court here. One of them died during custody in the Tihar Jail here.

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