New Delhi: A plea for prosecution of the juvenile accused in the December 16 gangrape case alongwith the five adult accused was on January 24 dismissed by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). The petition, moved by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy seeking the prosecution of the sole juvenile along with the five adult accused, was rejected by the Board presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel here.
Janata Party General Secretary Jagdish Shetty told the media outside JJB, "Subramanian Swamy is in Chennai right now and he has been informed about the decision of the Board. We would be filing an appeal against the order in several forums including the Delhi High Court."
Swamy on January 23 moved the High Court seeking a direction to prosecute the juvenile along with other co-accused in the case, saying the waiver from prosecution to such minors was "unreasonable". The High Court had disposed of his plea, saying, "There was no cause of action to entertain this PIL at this stage."
The bench had, however, given Swamy the liberty to "take proper recourse" by moving a sessions court if JJB did not allow his plea on the issue. The 23-year-old paramedic was gangraped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 and dumped on the road. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
"The age of 18 years as the flat cut-off waiver in criminal offences is inconsistent with the international conventions and, hence, is arbitrary and unreasonable," Swamy had told the High Court. The juvenile, who was "emotionally and mentally" mature, "must be" tried with the other five adults under IPC, he
The High Court, while disposing of his petition, had said, "How can this statute [Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act] be interpreted by us in a PIL. We may do so if we get a reference from the lower court concerned." The juvenile is being tried separately by JJB while a day-to-day trial of the five adult accused is being held in a fast track court in Saket here.