The Chief Justice of India (CJI) has questioned the accuracy of the news reports that a juvenile was the most brutal of all rapists in the Delhi incident.
“These reports are merely the hype created by the media,” CJI Altamas Kabir said here on Saturday. “Nobody knows exactly what happened on the bus. How can you (the media) say that the minor was the most brutal? It’s what people say.” The CJI was asked specifically about the theories related to the case.
The CJI made these statements at Sidhuwal village near Patiala when he went there as chief guest during the first convocation of Rajiv Gandhi National Law University (RGNLU). “Who did what will come at the stage of evidence after the hearing begins,” he said. “As of now, nobody can relate the series of events so confidently.”
Asked if the minor would get the benefit of his status in the verdict, since he would now be tried under the juvenile justice laws, the CJI said the rule of law would decide that. “Whatever provisions and rules we have to try juvenile suspects would be applied,” he said. “If any suspects in the Delhi gangrape or in any other case was minor, he would have to be tried as per the law of the land only.” The media had referred to a debate in the country that in serious crimes, juveniles should be treated as adults.
The CJI, who earlier had desired to participate in the protests that occurred after the Delhi incident, also justified the people’s anger over the issue. “What I desired was my anguish,” he said. “It was not the case of just one girl. This movement was necessary to wake up the people,” said the 39th CJI.
After the Delhi gangrape, the experiment of bringing the case of harassment or rape against women to fast-track courts had proved to be a great success, said CJI Kabir, adding that the legal authorities might extend the experiment to other issues as well. “In the Supreme Court,” he said, “we introduced fast-track courts to address very old cases, and in the past two weeks, were able to dispose of 400 such matters by creating a court each for criminal and civic cases.”
In many cases, lawyers deceived the court and misguided it, said the CJI, saying it was the worst thing a lawyer could do.