NEW DELHI, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Nearly nine months after the fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student by six men on a moving bus in the Indian capital shocked the country, a juvenile court gave the first verdict in the case -- it convicted a teenager of the horrific crime and sentenced him to three years in a reformatory.
The Juvenile Justice Board, which tries minors below 18 years, found the teenager -- who was 17 at the time of the crime but has now become an adult -- guilty of rape and murder of the woman in December last year and handed out a punishment of three years' confinement in a reformatory, the maximum sentence he could get under the law.
"He has been convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to three years in a correctional home subject to review," Anil Sharma, the chief investigating officer in the case, told reporters.
Under the Juvenile Justice Act, a minor convict can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in a correctional home even in case of heinous crimes like rape and murder. A public interest litigation is currently pending in the Supreme Court seeking fresh interpretation of the term "juvenile" in the statute in the wake of this gangrape case.
Four other adult suspects in the case, currently being tried at a fast-track court, face death penalty. The main accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in New Delhi by hanging himself. A judgement is likely to be given next month.
Reacting to the verdict, the victim's mother Asha Davi said that the juvenile should be given punishment for the crime and not on the basis of his age. "He should be hanged irrespective of whether he is a juvenile or not. He should be punished for what he did to my daughter," she said.
The victim was gang raped by the six accused on a moving bus on December 16 last year. She had boarded the bus, along with her boyfriend, while they were returning home after watching a movie at a multiplex in the south of the Indian capital.
The woman later died of her injuries at a hospital in Singapore, where she was moved to after her condition worsened at a government hospital.
The case sparked massive protests across the country, forcing the Indian government to introduce stricter punishment for those convicted of sexual crimes against women.
NEW DELHI, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The first judgement in the horrific Delhi gangrape case has been postponed again, with a juvenile court Monday deferring its order, involving a minor accused, till this monthend, sources said.
The Juvenile Justice Board has deferred its verdict on one of the six accused, who was a minor at the time of the incident, till August 31 on the ground that the country's Supreme Court may give an order on a public interest litigation plea, seeking fresh interpretation of the term "juvenile" in the statute, they said. Full story