Three years after she was raped, a 12-year-old Delhi girl complains she has been dealt a rough hand by law.
The 15-year-old who raped her was awarded three-month confinement in a reform home by a juvenile justice board. She says it's not enough.
The board deals with cases involving under18s.
Maximum punishment a juvenile can be awarded — even in a case of murder — is three-year confinement in a special home. “He should have got at least that much,” said the girl, who was nine when she was raped.
She cannot appeal the sentence — juvenile act prevents it. And, the Delhi high court has also shot down her plea for a copy of judgment as the law prohibits it — to protect the privacy and identity of the juvenile offender.
Rejecting the rape victim's appeal against lesser sentence, justice Mukta Gupta said, “Concept of proportionality of sentence is unknown to the juvenile justice act.” The orders passed under the act were only for the rehabilitation and reformation of the juvenile, she said.
Lawyer AJ Bhambani said his client’s fundamental right to pursue legal remedies was denied.
“A juvenile accused cannot be protected by curbing rights of victims,” Anant Asthana, an expert in juvenile law, said. Instead of restricting access to the records, any mention of names or details that could reveal the identity of the offender or the victim should be avoided, he said.