Kathua rape-murder accused to be tried as an adult, lawyers say after court accepts medical report
The Kathua rape-murder accused’s counsel said he would challenge the verdict of the trail court.india Updated: Jul 05, 2018 22:44 IST
The Pathankot district and sessions court has accepted a medical report of an accused in the Kathua rape-and-murder case, who claimed to be a juvenile, which ascertained his age to be more than 20 years, special public prosecutor JK Chopra said.
Rejecting the plea of the defence counsel, district and sessions judge Tajwinder Singh said the accused will be treated as an adult now, the lawyer said.
Chopra said the court has declined his application and declared the accused as a ‘major’.
The accused’s counsel AK Sawhney said they have decided to challenge the decision in the Punjab and Haryana high court while he now would be brought to the court daily along with the other accused till the higher courts decide on his age.
Meanwhile, the cross examination of the victim’s father was done in the court by the defence.
The medical report was submitted before the court earlier this week by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch after it resumed post summer break.
The district and sessions judge had issued directions to the crime branch to conduct a bone ossification test to ascertain his age, one of the eight accused in the brutal rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir in January.
Asked what was the opinion of the doctors about the age of the accused, Chopra said, “According to it (the medical opinion), his age is stated to be 20 plus.”
The court had ordered the test after the defence counsel moved an application in the first week of June, requesting to treat him as a minor citing his matriculation certificate.
The defence which had claimed that the age of the persons should be decided on the basis of the matriculation certificate or the school where the child is admitted first was challenged by the special public prosecutors appointed by the Jammu and Kashmir government in the court.
Defence lawyer Sawhney claimed that the admission form duly signed by the accused’s guardians when he was admitted in a primary school was in the custody of the crime branch and that should be made a case property so that the court could consider it also as the document that reveals his client was a juvenile.
The crime branch had constituted a team of doctors, comprising medicos from various streams including the radiology department, and the accused was examined on June 22 and 23.
The court had directed senior superintendent of police RK Jalla to supervise the medical examination and submit the report when the court reopens after a 16-day summer break.
While seven of the accused, are facing trial in the court here on the directions of the Supreme Court, the eighth accused in the case is facing trial in a juvenile court in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.
(With agency inputs)
First Published: Jul 05, 2018 18:46 IST