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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Gangrape: Swamy seeks juvenile's trial in fast-track court

PTI  New Delhi, January 14, 2013
First Published: 20:40 IST(14/1/2013) | Last Updated: 20:42 IST(14/1/2013)

Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on Monday approached a Juvenile Justice Board dealing with the Delhi gangrape case here seeking prosecution of the juvenile involved in it in the fast-track court that will try the other five accused.

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The bench of  Board (JJB) asked Swamy to approach the Supreme Court or the Delhi high court with regard to his plea before January 23 and fixed its order for that day.

Swamy, along with advocate Supriya Manan and Ishkaran Singh Bhandari, sought JJB's permission to be impleaded in the case and be allowed to prosecute the juvenile along with the public prosecutor.

"The applicants have no other intention but to assist the court in reaching a just and fair conclusion, after a free and fair trial is given to the juvenile accused.

"But in the current scenario, the rights of the victim should also remain in the mind of the court and justice should be provided to her as well. For the same the applicants are seeking the permission of this court to allow them to assist the court in the current trial," the petition said.

Swamy sought the Board's directions to stay the proceedings of the case before it saying that the power of sentencing of JJB under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act are in "conflict" and he would move an application before the Supreme Court for the same.

The petition said section 15 (g) of the JJ Act mandates that a juvenile convicted of any offence can be sentenced to be sent to a special home for a period of three years, maximum and thereafter be released on probation.

While section 28 of the Act states that when an offence has a punishment of imprisonment which is more than three years in reformatory school under any other law in India, be it central or state, then that punishment should be awarded which is greater in degree, i.e. in grievous offences imprisonment can be awarded as a punishment, it said.

"In the current case scenario the juvenile is being tried for rape and murder and the maximum punishment for rape and murder is death penalty (in rarest of rare cases) and life imprisonment without parole if proven guilty.

"The minimum punishment in such cases is rigorous imprisonment of seven years," the petition said.

The juvenile involved in the December 16 case in which a 23-year-old girl was brutally assaulted and gangrape and later died in a hospital in Singapore, claimed to be less than 18 years and is being tried in JJB.

Swamy also sought that the "international concept of age of criminal responsibility be included in the JJ Act and the blanket immunity provided to the juvenile offender on the basis of age be diluted."

"The concept of criminal responsibility needs to be added into the Act and allow the court to differentiate between innocent children and juvenile delinquents," he said.


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