December 16 Delhi gang rape case the sixth accused and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student declared by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) as a “minor”, which could rpt could enable him to walk free by June 4, this year when he attains the age of 18 years.
The accused, who was described as the most brutal of the six accused by the Delhi Police in its charge sheet, was declared as 17 years and six months and 24 days-old by the JJB, which relied on his birth certificate and school documents produced before it.
Section 15 (g) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act mandates that a juvenile aged between 16-18 years if convicted of any offence can be sentenced to be sent to a special home for a period of three years at the maximum, and, thereafter, be released on probation.
However, section 16 of the Act also provides that a juvenile can only be kept at the special home till he attains 18 years of age and he cannot be sent to jail thereafter, which in effect will result in his release. The JJB also rejected the police’s plea for bone ossification test of the sixth accused for determining his age. Lawyers appearing for the prosecution said they appeal against the JJB order in a higher court. Earlier on January 15, the principal of the school, from where the juvenile had droppoed out, had submitted before the JJB that as per the school records he is 17 years and six months-old.