Rehab of juvenile sentenced in Delhi gang-rape case must be priority, says Human Rights Watch

New Delhi, Aug. 31 (ANI): Commenting on the sentencing of the juvenile convicted of the Delhi gang-rape in December, South Asia Director of Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly, on Saturday said there should be every effort at the rehabilitation and the eventual reintegration of the child as a constructive member of society.

"The minor accused in the December Delhi gang rape case has been found guilty by the Juvenile Justice Board and sentenced to three years in a correctional facility. While many have expressed dissatisfaction with this, international and domestic law provides that everyone under 18 is a child," said Ganguly in a statement.

"The boy has been found responsible for participating in a terrible act, but instead of being motivated by views on punishments and retribution, there should be every effort at the rehabilitation and the eventual reintegration of the child as a constructive member of society," she added.

In the first conviction in the December 16 gang-rape case on Saturday, the juvenile accused was found guilty of murder and rape of the 23-year-old girl. But, he got away with a maximum of three years imprisonment mandated under the juvenile law.

The Juvenile Justice Board sentenced the minor to three years in a probation home, the maximum punishment that can be awarded under the Juvenile Justice Act. As he had already spent eight months in custody, the period will be reduced from the three years sentence.

Dissatisfied with the verdict, the father of the victim said they will appeal against the verdict. The mother of the victim also said the verdict is not acceptable to them.

The juvenile was one of the six accused arrested in the case. While the juvenile faced inquiry before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), the four adult accused are being tried before a fast track court.

The 23-year-old paramedical student was raped, beaten and tortured by six men on a moving bus in South Delhi area on December 16 last year.

The victim later died of internal injuries in a Singapore hospital two weeks later. (ANI)

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