Nirbhaya gang-rape case: DCW to approach SC, President against juvenile rapist's release

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the release of December 16 gang-rape case juvenile convict and said that the juvenile convict could be released on or before December 20.

Last Updated: Dec 18, 2015, 19:40 PM IST
Nirbhaya gang-rape case: DCW to approach SC, President against juvenile rapist's release

New Delhi: The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) on Friday decided to approach the Supreme Court, President Pranab Mukherjee and Delhi High Court Chief Justice against release of juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal, in a tweet said: "(I am) extremely sad that Nirbhaya's convict will walk free on 20th (December 20). (It is) dark day in history of the country."

"(DCW) will be appealing to Chief Justice of High Court and Supreme Court and President to intervene. Nirbhaya rapist should not be released," she said in another tweet.

The Delhi High Court today refused to stay the release of December 16 gang-rape case juvenile convict and said that he could be released on or before December 20.

The convict, now 20-year-old, was a juvenile in 2012 when the crime was committed, and the court found him guilty of raping and assaulting the victim along with five accomplices — among whom main accused 35-year-old Ram Singh was found dead in his Tihar jail cell in 2013 — in a private moving bus in Delhi.

 

Nirbhaya’s mother said that allowing the 20-year-old from Badaun, Uttar Pradesh to leave the reform home ‘sends out a wrong message’. “Juveniles will now think they can do whatever they want, and get away with it,” she added. PTI quoted her as asking, “But did he reform? Thousands of girls are being raped across the country. What has changed?”

Making a strong plea to the government to ensure he remained in custody, in jail if not in a juvenile home, while being tried (it is not clear what she meant because he was tried and sentenced by a juvenile court), Nirbhaya’s mother said: “They say that his rights as a juvenile have to protected. What about us? Are we not citizens, don’t we have rights? And what about Nirbhaya’s rights? Doesn’t she deserve justice? Don’t we deserve justice? I appeal to the government to not allow this to happen. If he roams free we will be sending a wrong message to others."

Meanwhile, Nirbhaya’s father is quoted by PTI as warning that “He may go out and commit another crime and if he does, it will be due to shortcomings on the government's part”.

 

This is a concern that does not appear to be lost on Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, who advocated the need to keep a ‘close watch’ on the youth. “He is a person who should be kept under watch. We can't just let him go and wait for him to do something else,” she cautioned.

However, Gandhi also added that justice should not be confused with the law. “The law said that he could only go to children’s home. That's the anomaly we are trying to correct. So, he served his sentence and in according to the law he is coming out. And there is nothing we can do about it until or unless he commits another crime.”

“It has to do with the attitude of Delhi people and competence of Delhi Police,” LG Najeeb Jung said on women security.

 

Congress leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar said, “I am of the view that boy who can rape should be treated as an adult.”

Amid reports that the convicted juvenile has become a model inmate — offering namaaz five times a day and fasting during Ramzan — who is afraid of being ‘lynched’ upon his release, major questions about whether the process of reform is truly complete have been raised. This debate is likely to intensify over the days leading up to the end of his sentence.