HC asks police to produce juvenile accused of raping minor

The court was told that the notice issued to him were not served on his address in Bihar. Taking note of which, the court asked the investigating officer to find the juvenile and produce before it.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the police to produce before it a juvenile accused of raping a five-year-old girl in 2013.

Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued the order after the court was informed the minor, who was granted bail in June by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) here, was not traceable now.

The court was told that the notice issued to him were not served on his address in Bihar. Taking note of which, the court asked the investigating officer to find the juvenile and produce before it.

The police, meanwhile, in its status report to the court said they have conducted an enquiry about the date of birth of the 'child in conflict with law' (CCL) and according to the school record it was April 26, 1998.

"He was admitted in the first standard of the school on April 8, 2005 and his name is in the admission register. The attendance register is also checked and found that he often used to attend class. After class one, there is no record of the CCL in the school," the police said.

The police response came in the backdrop of the court's notice issued to them and the two accused - Manoj Shah and the juvenile - while hearing a plea filed by the girl's mother against the transfer of the case to JJB on April 12.

The court posted the matter for November 30 for further hearing.

"The order declaring one of the accused a juvenile is bad in law and unsustainable on multiple grounds," the girl's mother said in her petition filed through advocate Prabhsahay Kaur.

She said the ossification test conducted in February 2014, according to which the age of the accused was 20-22 years, was completely ignored by the trial court.

Even if the benefit of one year was granted to the accused, he would still be a major. His age was not found to be borderline, leaving no scope of doubt on his juvenility, Kaur, who was assisted by advocate Shilpa Dewan, submitted.

The plea challenged the trial court's decision to transfer the case solely on the basis of a headmaster's statement, who claimed to be the in-charge of the school where the juvenile had studied, in the nature of a mere declaration.

The petition contended that the sessions judge failed to complete the trial of the case, registered in 2013, within a year as mandated under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) but took three years to merely decide an application of juvenility of the accused.

Manoj, lodged in judicial custody, and the juvenile are accused of raping the girl and shoving off foreign objects in her private parts on April 15, 2013 in Gandhi Nagar area in East Delhi. The juvenile is facing trial before JJB.

The child was rescued 40 hours later on April 17, 2013.

The accused had fled after committing the crime, leaving the girl behind in Shah's room believing her to be dead. They were later arrested from Bihar.

The police said some foreign material - three pieces of a candle and one hair oil bottle - was taken out of the body of the victim and this was also proved by doctors during recording of their statements in the court.

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