Nirbhaya gang-rape case: Juvenile found guilty of rape and murder

NEW DELHI: Nearly nine months after 23-year-old Nirbhaya was gang-raped by six persons on a moving bus in the capital, Juvenile Justice Board has pronounced the juvenile guilty.

The teenager has been found guilty of taking part in the gang rape of a paramedical student, his lawyer said. He has been convicted on charges of rape and murder in connection with the crime which was committed when he was 17.

Under Juvenile Justice Act can face a maximum sentence of three years confinement at a reformatory home as per the the Juvenile Justice Act.

The case against the juvenile offender had sparked a lot of public outrage with demands being raised to bring down the age to be declared juvenile from 18 to 16 years.

The debate started after it was found that the juvenile accused was just a few months short of turning major at the time of the incident.

In fact, during the pendency of the trial, the juvenile accused attained majority. Yet, he was tried as a juvenile as the law treats a person as a juvenile if at the time of the commission of offence he/she was below 18 years of age.

The doubts that were raised that he was an adult at the time of the incident were put to rest after the board declared him a juvenile on the basis of his school certificates. Though the trial ended in the first week of July, it had to be deferred by the board four times on the ground that the Supreme Court is to decide on maintainability of a PIL seeking fresh interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’ in the statute.

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