Nirbhaya gang rape: Juvenile convict will walk free on Sunday

Delhi high court refuses to pass order on extending his stay in reform home after completing his three years sentencing under juvenile act

GN Bureau | December 18, 2015




With the Delhi high court on Friday refusing to pass any directive, the juvenile convicted in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya will walk free on Sunday.

The parents of Nirbhaya, as the paramedical student brutally assaulted on December 16, 2012 is known as, were present in the court. They said they were shocked by the court's decision to let the juvenile walk free. "Even after all our efforts, the juvenile convict will now be released," a teary-eyed Nirbhaya's mother said outside the court.

The court declined to pass any order on extending his three-year stay in a reform home while hearing a plea by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. He had urged the court to not release the juvenile, claiming he had been "radicalised" while in the reform home. Based on his plea, the court has issued notices to the central and Delhi governments on the matter. The next date of hearing is March 28.

The juvenile, who was under 18 when he was arrested for the brutal rape and murder of a student of paramedics on December 16, 2012, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. He was ordered to be kept in a remand home for three years.

Calling the juvenile who's almost 20 now, an 'animal', Swamy last week said it would be dangerous to release him into society. He also appealed to the court to make provisions in the law to deal with situations where juveniles are convicted of such serious offences.

The centre as well sought an extension of his stay in the reform home until all issues -- including the juvenile's mental health and a post-release rehabilitation plan or him -- had been considered by the authorities.

The court had earlier also sought an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report, in a sealed envelope, about the convict having been radicalized. The IB had raised suspicions that the juvenile became radicalised after being moved in with another juvenile apprehended in connection with the Delhi high court blast case.

A trial court had awarded the death penalty to four rapists, a sentence that was upheld by the high court. Of the six convicts, one was found dead in Tihar Jail and the juvenile was sent to a reform home. The appeals for four convicts are pending before the supreme court.

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