Lucknow gangrape accused not a minor, rules juvenile board

Eight years after a 13-year-old girl was gangraped in Ashiana locality of Luckow, the Juvenile Justice Board on Tuesday rejected prime accused Gaurav Shukla's claim that he was a minor at the time of the crime. The board ruled that his date of birth was March 14, 1987, and not October 2, 1989, as he claimed.

Gaurav, nephew of senior SP leader Arun Shankar Shukla alias Anna Maharaj, is out on bail. The board directed him to appear before court on January 21."It is the first step toward justice. I am happy," said the victim's father.

Gaurav had produced his high school marksheet and certificate in support of his claim. The victim's advocate, Jalaj Gupta, said: "We proved that Gaurav submitted fake documents to get admission in the Herald Public Inter College... The board has held that the date of birth which was mentioned in the record of his first school is correct." However, Gaurav's trial may not begin yet because he can challenge the board's order in the sessions court.

On May 2, 2005 four youths kidnapped and gangraped the girl in a moving car. Two more men joined them and raped her in a farmhouse.

Two accused, Aman Bakshi and Bhartendu Mishra, were sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2007. Two others, Saurabh Jain and Asif Siddiqui, died in a road accident. The trial of fifth accused, Faizan, has been completed and the court has reserved its order.

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