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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

All eyes on JJB: Will age dispute be settled today?

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, January 08, 2013
First Published: 13:08 IST(8/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:09 IST(8/1/2013)

Tuesday would be yet another day of hope for the Ashiana gangrape victim (now 17), who has been fighting for justice against the ‘influential’ accused.

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As the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) members sit for the hearing of the argument of juvenility of the prime accused, the victim is set to undergo a mixed feeling - of the trauma she went through after the brutal gangrape on May 2, 2005 and the hope that the long pending dispute on the accused’s age would be settled, making way for his trial.

While this has been a regular feature for the victim, the prime accused has been leading a normal life due to his clout.

Out of the six accused in the case, four have been convicted. Of these four, two have died in road accidents while the trial of the fifth one is in final stages.

However, the trial of the prime accused, who is kin of a mafia-turned-politician of the Samajwadi Party, has not started yet.

The victim’s family had alleged that the accused had fudged his birth records and the dispute over his age had been carrying on since then. There have been numerous hearings to decide whether he was a juvenile or a major at the time of the incident, but the board was yet to give its verdict.

“It is a matter of shame. The accused has got married and has been moving like a free bird all these years. But life has been really tough for the victim. The case is there for everyone to see as to how accused with influential backgrounds continue to lead a normal life even after committing such heinous crimes,” said Madhu Garg, social activist, who has been supporting the victim all through these years.

After much hue and cry over the Delhi gangrape incident, the day would be crucial for all those who have been associated with the case. In August last year, the high court had directed the Juvenile Justice Board to decide the age dispute within two months. The district judge also ordered the board to hold its court for four days instead of two days a week. This may expedite the case that has been crawling at snail’s pace for seven years.


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