Delhi gang rape: Minor gets three years in special home

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) The Juvenile Justice Board Saturday sentenced the lone minor accused in the Dec 16, 2012 gang rape here to a three-year stay in a special home, while dissatisfied family members of the victim said they wanted harsher punishment for him.

The board, presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel, pronounced the verdict and acquitted him of some of the charges for which he was booked.

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

After pronouncement of verdict, the mother of the victim came out of the board and interacted with media and said she was "not satisfied" with verdict.

With tears in her eyes, she said: "We are not satisfied with the verdict.'

"If minors do such things and get away so easily, how will the law work? It cannot be done like this. Law needs to be changed. We will move the higher court against the judgment," she said.

The juvenile board refused to reveal all the charges for which the minor accused had been convicted and acquitted.

A period of around eight months that he has spent in juvenile observation home will be deducted from his punishment of three years in the special home, said the board.

The lawyer of the minor accused said his conduct at special home will be observed by the board and the sentence would be reviewed.

"The board will observe his conduct during his stay in reform home and can review its sentence order and there is a possibility that he could come out early," Rajesh Tiwari, advocate of juvenile, said.

The board pronounced its judgment around 3.30 p.m. The victim's father, mother, two brothers and a relative had areached the board in the morning.

The father of victim, while talking to media outside the board, said: "Our daughter has died and now after listening to this verdict we also have virtually died. This will only encourage the crime."

After the order was pronounced, some protestors raised slogans outside the board and sought death penalty for the minor accused.

More than 150 media persons from national and international news papers, channels and agency gathered from the morning to cover the case.

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

Police in their charge sheet said the juvenile was the most brutal of all the accused.

A native of Uttar Pradesh, the minor had moved to Delhi at the age of 11 and was arrested after the incident from Anand Vihar in east Delhi.

Six people, including the juvenile, were arrested in the case. While accused Ram Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur faced trial in fast track court in Saket in south Delhi, the juvenile's case was heard by the board.

The case against Ram Singh was dropped after he was found dead, hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail.

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