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Bihar: Guilty of rape bid, juvenile asked to serve water to lawyers for a month

Held guilty of rape bid, a juvenile justice board in Biharsharif lets off 17-year-old boy by asking him to serve water to lawyers for a month.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2017 13:34 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
juvenile,rape bid,lawyer
(Saarthak Aurora/ HT Photo)

 A juvenile justice board in Bihar has asked a 17-year-old boy to serve water for a month to lawyers as a punishment for trying to rape a six-year-old girl.

Holding the boy guilty of rape bid, the chief magistrate of the juvenile justice board in the state’s Biharsharif on Thursday asked the accused to serve water to lawyers and visitors to the lawyers’ association building there.

The family members of the convict have agreed to make available pitcher and glasses so that the juvenile delinquent could serve the punishment.

Prosecution lawyer Ram Narayan Paswan was circumspect, when he said, “The court took a lenient view considering the age of the accused and gave him an opportunity to correct himself.”

The judgement, however, came in for severe criticism from Vikram Srivastava, a practising lawyer at the Delhi high court and founder of Independent Thought, a national organisation working on child rights law.

“The order is in bad taste. It contravenes the premise and basic principles of juvenile justice – dignity and worth, positive measure, privacy and confidentiality, fresh start and most importantly best interest,” he said.

“This is a fit case for State to respond responsibly by providing the child reformative services and behaviour modification therapies. However, inflicting constant humiliation and encouraging child labour would only defeat the purposes of the Act. While community service within institutions, etc. can be ordered in such cases, it seems, an attempt to sound out of the box, the order was delivered, which is not in the best interest of the child,” he added.

The minor boy had tried to rape a six-year-old girl at Panhar village under Biharsharif in Nalanda district, 80 kms south-east of Patna on January 31, 2016.

The boy, a neighbour, had lured the victim into his house by telling her that he would show her father’s photograph on his mobile phone.

The boy, however, fled when the victim’s family members rushed into the house on hearing the screams of the girl. He later surrendered in court.

This is not the first time the juvenile justice board has delivered such an order.

In December 2016, a juvenile court in Aurangabad had asked a child delinquent to wipe for six months the floor of the Sun temple in Deo as a penance for firing at cops while supposedly working for the Maoists.

In March 2015, another juvenile court had asked a child rapist to clean the floor of Hanuman temple in Patna for six months and also serve food to the poor. The 15-year-old boy was convicted of raping and killing a five-year-old girl.

After the furore over the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape, the President on December 31, 2015 gave his assent to the bill that proposed adult-like treatment for juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age committing heinous crimes like murder and rape.

A juvenile under 16 years of age can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reform home.

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 21:39 IST