A juvenile, whose assault on the 23-year-old woman last week was regarded by the prosecution as the most brutal, can be sentenced for a maximum of three years. Then, too, he will not be lodged in the Tihar jail but at a reformatory home.
The police had done an ossification (bone) test on him after his arrest at Anand Vihar and found him to be below 18 years of age.
When children aged between seven and 18 years commit crimes, they are dealt with more humanely under the Juvenile Act, 2000, which is in keeping with the UN Child Rights Commission.
They can, at the most, be awarded three years at a reformatory home for offences including murder.
The object of the lenient legislation is to rehabilitate the offender.
“As they are considered to be less capable of controlling their impulses or taking care of themselves, the law provides a special custodial, adjudicatory and sentencing mechanism for juveniles in conflict with law,” said lawyer Anant Kumar Asthana, an expert in juvenile cases
Police claimed it was this juvenile who encouraged the couple to take the bus.