New Delhi: The Juvenile Justice Board has reserved its order till July 25 on the minor accused in the Delhi gangrape-murder case. The judgement in the case has not been disclosed and the court has not clarified whether he has been found guilty or not in the case.
"The order was not pronounced in an open court. Whether the juvenile is guilty or not, will be known after we receive the order in a sealed envelope. We will get the envelope on July 25," defence lawyer Rajesh Tewari said.
It's been more than six months since a 23-year-old paramedical student, who was brutally raped in a moving bus on the fateful night of the December 16, 2012, succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
The minor is one of the six accused in the sensational case that had sparked national outrage. He faces grievous charges of rape and murder like the other accused. But if convicted, he can only be sent to an observation home for a maximum of three years.
Juvenile Justice Board presided by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel had concluded on July 5 its inquiry that began in March against the juvenile, who, the police claimed, was the "most brutal" of all the six accused persons.
The board was also expected to give its judgement in the another case against the juvenile pertaining to robbing Ramadhar, a carpenter who had boarded the bus on the fateful night of December 16, 2012 and was thrown out before the girl and her friend were assaulted. But even that case the judgement has not been disclosed.
During the inquiry, the juvenile had denied all charges against him, claiming that he was not a participant in the horrendous crime. An Uttar Pradesh native who had moved to Delhi when he was 11 years old and took up menial jobs, he was one of the six accused arrested in the case. While the juvenile faced inquiry before the JJB, the four adult accused are being tried before a fast track court. Key accused Ram Singh was found hanging in Tihar Jail in March and the proceedings against him stand abated.
The case had sparked intense debate on anti-rape laws and whether juvenile age should be lowered. When the evidence was put against the juvenile during the final arguments, his counsel had submitted that there was no medical evidence to connect him with the charges and no fingerprints could be detected in the bus to show his complicity.
The defence counsel had also claimed that the juvenile had been implicated by the police though neither the girl nor her male friend had done so in their initial statements. He had also said that the braveheart's male friend, who is the complainant in the case, did not depose against him even before the JJB and alleged that Ramadhar, who is said to have identified him as one of the six accused in the bus, had deposed falsely at the behest of the police.
The juvenile had in his statement recorded by the Board during the inquiry claimed innocence and refuted the police version in the chargesheet of him being the "most brutal" of all the accused. Besides the juvenile, four adult accused facing trial in the case are -- Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur. They have been charged with gangrape, murder, criminal conspiracy, unnatural sex and robbery besides other sections of IPC.
The Delhi braveheart had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.