In the first conviction in the December 16 Delhi gangrape case, the juvenile accused was on Saturday found guilty of rape and murder of the 23-year-old paramedic student. The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) ordered his detention at a special home for three years — the maximum punishment that can be awarded under the Juvenile Justice Act.
The eight months already spent by the juvenile in custody so far will be considered as term already served, and will be deducted from the three-year detention.
Breaking down after Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel pronounced the order, the victim’s mother, who attended the proceedings with other family members, said she had been “let down by the system” once again. “What is the use of this punishment for three years? They might as well release him now... what was the use of so many procedures and hearings if this had to be the outcome,” she said. The family said they would appeal against the JJB’s order.
The juvenile was six months short of 18 years at the time of the crime. He faced as many as 17 charges under the IPC, based on an inquiry report submitted by the police to the JJB. “He has been convicted of most of the charges, but acquitted of some,” said Rajesh Tiwari, his lawyer.
Refusing to divulge further details, he said, “The order mentions that the merits of the case based on which the verdict has been passed shall not be made public...I feel this has been done to ensure that there is no adverse effect on the impending verdict in the other trials.” Four other accused in the case are being tried by a fast-track court.
While the police had earlier said the juvenile was the most brutal of all the accused, they withdrew this observation