Kathua rape-murder: Conduct bone density test to verify age of accused, rules court
A court in Pathankot, hearing the Kathua gang rape-and-murder case, on Tuesday issued directions for bone ossification test of one of the accused to determine his age after the defence counsel moved an application last week for treating him as a minor citing his matriculation certificate, lawyers said.
District and sessions judge Tajwinder Singh issued the directions after hearing the arguments and counter-arguments over the issue of the age of Parvesh Kumar alias “Mannu”, 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, the lawyers said.
The Government Medical College hospital in Jammu will constitute a board to conduct bone ossification test of the accused to determine his age at the request of Senior Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, R K Jalla, special public prosecutor J K Chopra said.
The court directed Jalla to supervise the medical examination and submit the report on July 2, a day after the court reopens after a 16-day summer break.
While seven of the accused including Kumar 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 Kathua district.
His fate was yet to be decided after the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police contested his claim that he was a minor.
Kumar’s lawyers moved an application in the court last week pleading before it that he be treated as a juvenile and produced his matriculation certificate which showed his date of birth as February 22, 2000 in support of the demand.
Meanwhile, the request of district and sessions judge Dr Tejwinder Singh, seeking Z security from the Punjab Police for himself, is likely to be decided on June 15 during a meeting of senior police officials, including IG (border) Surinder Pal Singh Parmar and officers of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the Information Bureau (IB). The judge had sought the security a day before the start of the hearing of the case in Pathankot in view the protests that had started in Kathua seeking a CBI probe in the case in which some ministers had also participated.
The judge is already escorted by a police vehicle with 13 personal personnel.