New Delhi: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Thursday framed rape and murder charges against minor accused in connection with December 16 Delhi gang rape case.

DELHI GANG RAPE CASE

In January, the JJB had declared that the sixth accused in the December 16 gang rape and murder case is juvenile hence; the accused will not face trial before the special court. 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 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.

Finding prima facie evidence against the 17-year-old juvenile, Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel ordered framing of charges under various provisions of the IPC dealing with gang rape, murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, attempt to murder, dacoity, destruction of evidence and conspiracy. The Board has now fixed the case on March 6 for recording of evidence. The charges of robbery, wrongful confinement and destruction of evidence have also been framed against the juvenile in another case of robbing a vegetable seller prior who had boarded the bus on the fateful night before the gang rape victim and her friend allegedly became the prey of the minor and his five adult co-accused.

The panel will commence recording of evidence in the robbery case from March 12 against the juvenile. In both the cases, the minor claimed innocence and opted to contest the charges framed by the juvenile justice board.

Earlier, the police had in its PIR (police investigation report, which is equivalent to charge sheet) filed before the JJB slapped charges of gangrape, murder, unnatural sex, dacoity, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence among other offences under the Indian Penal Code against the minor.

Similar charges have been framed against the other five adult accused in the case, proceedings in which are being conducted in-camera at a special fast track court here.

The gang rape victim had died on December 29, 2012 in a Singapore hospital as a result of the grievous injuries she had suffered when she was brutally raped and assaulted by the six accused, after she and her male friend boarded the bus on December 16 night.

(JPN/Agencies)

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