New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday admitted a plea seeking the juvenile accused to be considered as an adult. The court also issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi Police in this regard.

The plea was filed by a lawyer from Chandigarh, Salil Bali, who pleaded before the court to taken into consideration the mental age of the accused and not his physical age especially keeping in mind the gravity of the crime committed by him.

One of the six accused involved in December 16 Delhi gang rape, which took place in a moving bus, is said to be below 18 years of age and he is likely to be awarded less severe punishment and legal expert believe that a minor (below 18-year age) can get a maximum punishment of three years for any of the crimes committed by him or her.

The juvenile accused and his five other accomplices in the brutal gang rape of 23-year old paramedical student was arrested by Delhi police on December 21 after which he has been kept in juvenile home situated at Lajpat Nagar area of New Delhi.

Plea for mental test of juvenile accused

The Supreme Court also issued notice to the Central Government on a petition seeking that the juvenile accused in Delhi gang-rape case be kept in special custody if he was a psychopath and a threat to society and women.

A bench of Justice K.S.Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice on the plea contending that the heinous act of the juvenile accused points to wide possibility that he was psychologically an abnormal person.

The petitioner - Delhi-based Shilpa Arora Sharma - has pleaded for the appointment of a panel of national and international criminal psychologists to examine the juvenile to determine whether he was psychologically abnormal and a threat to society and women if allowed to be free.

It sought that if the juvenile accused is found to be so, he should not be released and kept in a place of strict detention as such a person poses grave danger to society and especially women.

The petitioner has also urged the court to strike down Section 16 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act, 2000, under which the juvenile accused would get released without punishment despite most "grisly act" committed by him.

This provision of the Juvenile Act, the petition said, was "irrational, unreasonable" and not based on the "fundamental principle of public policy" and thus should be declared null and void as it was in conflict with Article 21 of the constitution.

The petition has also sought "proper and detailed" investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to determine the correct age of the juvenile accused.

Such an inquiry, the petition said should not be limited to examining the school documents but detailed enquiry at the place of his birth and birth records.

Mala Dikshit/JPN/Agencies

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