Juvenile Board says Delhi gangrape accused is a minor

FP

The Juvenile Justice Board has ruled one of the accused in the Delhi bus gangrape case to be a minor. Accepting the date of birth as mentioned in his school records, the board Monday ruled that the accused, who was reportedly the most brutal of those who fatally attacked the woman, was 17 years, six months and 11 days old at the time of the crime.

The records taken from his school in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh mentioned his date of birth as June 4, 1995. The 23-year-old paramedical student, gangraped last month, had died of her wounds 13 days later.

Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said the police were taking legal opinion on appealing against the order. If courts concur with the juvenile board's findings, the accused will be kept in an observation home till he attains the age of 18 and will then have to be released on probation. That could be four months from now.

The family of the gangrape victim said they were shocked. "How can this man be allowed to walk away like this after what he did?

We have spoken to the police authorities... the police must go in for an appeal, and I will be there to attend the proceedings myself," her 20-year-old brother said.

He added that his sister had told their mother that the "minor" had abused and beaten her the most. "Nobody else verbally abused her or hit her as much as him."

On Monday, the bench reportedly told the police and the lawyers present that the papers submitted by school officials appeared to be genuine and that there was no need to conduct any test to determine the age of the juvenile.

Supriya Manan, one of those who filed a petition saying that the juvenile be treated as a major, said, "We will approach a higher forum to ensure that the juvenile is punished. We will ensure that the benefit of being a minor is not given to (him)."

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