Delhi High Court : Juvenile convict in Nirbhaya gangrape-murder case to walk free on sunday

Friday, Dec 18, 2015,15:11 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Delhi High Court refuses to stop December 20 release of juvenile convict in December 16 gangrape case after completion of his 3-year jail term. Delhi High Court says it cannot prohibit juvenile’s release as per the statutory and existing provision of law. It had olso refused to give direction to juvenile whether the juvenile should be continued to put under watch for additional two years.

Delhi High Court also asks Juvenile Board to interact with convict, his guardians and officials of Delhi govt regarding his post release rehabilitation. High Court says reformation of juveniles in conflict with law requires deeper consideration, seeks Centre’s response.

Decks were cleared for the release on Sunday of the juvenile convict in the horrific December 16, 2012 gangrape case with the Delhi High Court today refusing to intervene, saying he cannot be stopped from walking free under the existing provisions of law.

The convict, now 20-year-old, is expected to walk out of the reformation home on December 20, at the end of his three year jail term unless there is a stay from the Supreme Court. Brushing aside the public outcry against his release, a high court bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed the Juvenile Justice Board to interact with the convict, his parents and concerned officials of Department of Women and Child Development regarding his rehabilitation and social mainstreaming.

The bench said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking stay on the release of juvenile convict cannot be allowed as the statutory and existing law was coming in its way. Having regard to the fact that the maximum stay that can be directed in the Special Home under Section 15(1) of the Juvenile Justice Act is three years and that the convict would be completing the period of three years by December 20, 2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the special home beyond December 20.

Hence, we decline to issue any direction as prayed by the petitioner, the bench said while allowing the convict to walk free. Six persons, including the juvenile, had brutally assaulted and raped a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.

The incident took place on 16 December 2012 when a 23-year-old female Jyoti Singh Pandey was beaten and gang raped in a private bus by six people in which she was travelling with a male friend, Awindra Pratap Pandey.

Six men were arrested in connection with the incident. They included Ram Singh, the bus driver, and his brother, Mukesh Singh, who were both arrested in Rajasthan. Ram and Mukesh Singh lived in Ravidas camp, a slum in South Delhi.Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor, and Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller, were both arrested in Delhi. A seventeen-year-old juvenile from Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, was arrested at the Anand Vihar terminal in Delhi. The juvenile had only met the others that day. Akshay Thakur, who had come to Delhi seeking employment, was arrested in Aurangabad, Bihar.

Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by trial court in the gang rape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013, and proceedings against him were abated following his death.