Confusion prevails over the release of a juvenile convicted in the December 16 gangrape and murder as the Supreme Court will hear on Monday a plea against the move.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), which moved the apex court against the release, hopes that the convict will not walk free as scheduled on December 20 (Sunday) since the matter has become sub judice.
But the apex court has refused a dramatic post-midnight move of the women’s commission to stay the release by giving an urgent hearing. Late on Saturday night, a vacation bench headed by Justice AK Goel posted the matter for hearing on Monday.
“SC accepted r petition. Matter listed on Monday as Item No 3. Case subjudice now. Nirbhaya rapist should not be released until case heard (sic),” DCW chief Swati Maliwal tweeted.
This struggle is for all Nirbhayas across the country. The entire nation is looking towards Hon'ble Supreme Court with a lot of hope.— SwatiMaliwal JaiHind (@SwatiJaiHind) December 19, 2015
The convict, who is now an adult, was sentenced to three years in a special home as he was a juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012 when, along with five men, he brutally raped a 23-year-old paramedical student aboard a moving bus. The victim died in a Singapore hospital two weeks later. The incident triggered unprecedented public outrage over a sexual crime in the country and led to calls that juveniles be treated as adults for heinous offences.
The women’s panel sought the top court’s immediate intervention on the ground that releasing the convict without even an assessment of the mental state maybe extremely dangerous for the society.
In its plea, the DCW said, “…seeking ad-interim direction that juvenile be not released till his mental state is assessed by any independent body/committee constituted by this Hon’ble Court”.
Maliwal also said that she approached SC after her letters to many authorities, including President and others, did not yield any result.
Earlier on Saturday, the parents of the gangrape victim, along with 40 Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, were detained by the police as they staged a protest against the release of the convict. The police action was condemned by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
After his release, the convict is required to be under the constant watch of a child welfare officer or probation officer for two years, and quarterly follow-up reports will have to be submitted to the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).
It was decided that the identity of the convict and his parents would be kept secret for their safety. He would be handed over either to his parents or a close guardian.
The JJB was also directed to pass its order on the “post-release rehabilitation and social mainstreaming” of the convict after interacting with him, his parents or guardians, and officials of the department of women and child development.
Earlier, a management committee set up under the Juvenile Justice Rules had proposed a two-pronged post-release plan that recommended providing the convict with necessary equipment for pursuing a vocation, besides protecting his identity.