After being treated as adults for the past about eight months, two of the arrested in connection with the murder of Nepal resident Raj Kumar near the inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) in Sector 43, were declared juveniles.
Based on the ossification test of the accused, additional district and sessions judge SS Sahni on Thursday declared the two accused as juveniles and referred their trial to the juvenile justice board.
The duo was among the three persons arrested for the murder. The accused had filed an application before the court that they were juveniles and the police had wrongly shown them as adults.
The mutilated body of Raj Kumar was found in the jungle area at the rear side of the ISBT-43 in September 2012. The body had several deep wounds on chest and stomach, suggesting that he was stabbed multiple times.
Police had arrested Kamal Khatri of Kotdawar in Uttarakhand, along with Ramesh and Vikram, for the murder. Kamal is the nephew of Ramesh. With the two being declared as juveniles, only Ramesh would be tried in the court, while the other two would be produced before the juvenile justice board.
According to the prosecution, Raj Kumar was the kingpin of a gang of robbers, which used to target Nepalese labourers, and accused Ramesh and Vikram were his associates.
At the time of the arrest, the police had maintained that Raj Kumar, along with three others, had robbed three Nepalese labourers when they were returning from Shimla in a Himachal roadways bus on September 11.
During preliminary questioning, accused Ramesh had told the police that earlier Raj Kumar was part of their gang, but he betrayed them by not giving them their actual share of some robbery. Enraged over this, Ramesh and Vikram formed their separate gang with Kamal and murdered Kumar in order to take revenge.