Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Saturday pronounced the minor accused guilty in the infamous December 16 gang-rape case.
The minor, tried under the Juvenile Justice Act, was convicted on charges of murder and gang-rape and will now be sent to a special remand home to serve the maximum three-year probation.
He was one of the six accused in the case that had sparked national outrage. The prime accused in the case, Ram Singh, was found hanging in his cell in Tihar Jail early this year.
This is the first verdict in the December 16 gang-rape and murder of the paramedic student.
The Juvenile Justice Board, presided over by Principal Magistrate
Geetanjali Goel, pronounced the verdict and convicted the 18-year-old for gang
rape, murder and other charges. The board, however, acquitted him of some of
the charges for which he was booked. Details were not disclosed as media was
not allowed inside the court.
The minor was also acquitted from attempt to murder charges of victims` male friend
and the sole eye witness of the case.
The prosecution has called the minor, as the "most brutal of the
six". He was the one who had called the victim and her male friend to the
bus on Dec 16 night by giving them wrong information. He along with five other
men had gangraped the girl in the moving bus and had then thrown both of them
out - without clothes - on the streets in the cold December night.
The police had said that apart from sexually assaulting the 23-year-old
physiotherapist trainee, the minor had also ripped out her internal organs with
a rod. The girl died later.
The brutal gang rape sparked massive protests in New Delhi and other cities,
with people demanding death for the accused persons.
The board refused to reveal all the charges for which the minor accused had
been convicted and acquitted.
After the order was announced, the victims entire family - father, mother and
two brothers - said they were happy.
"We are not satisfied with the verdict," the victim’s mother
said with tears in her eyes.
"If minors do such things and get away so easily, how will the law work?
It cannot be done like this. We will move the higher court against the
judgment," she said.
The father of victim also expressed his dissatisfaction over the verdict.
"Our daughter has died and now after listening to this verdict we also
have virtually died. This will only encourage the crime," the father said.
"I was hoping that the juvenile accused will be given life imprisonment,
but he was given only three years (in special home," said the victim`s
"The court by giving a lighter punishment of three years has actually
encouraged the other juveniles to commit crime. The law must be changed.
The board also said that a period of around eight months that the minor has
spent in juvenile observation home will be deducted from his punishment of
three years in the special or reform home.
The minor’s lawyer said his conduct at special home will be observed and the
sentence would be reviewed.
"The board will observe his conduct during his stay in reform home and can
review its sentence order and there is a possibility that he could come out
early," Rajesh Tiwari, advocate of juvenile, told reporters.
As the gang rape had hit international headlines and raised concerns about
women`s safety in the country, the area around the board was packed with media
persons, onlookers and activists. More than 150 media persons from national and
international newspapers and television channels had gathered from early
morning to cover the case.
The board was to pronounce its verdict at 10 am in the morning but it came only
at 3.30 pm.
After the order was pronounced, some protestors raised slogans outside the
board and sought death penalty for the minor.
Shouting "hang the rapist", the protesters expressed their
displeasure on the "lighter punishment" they thought the minor has
But child rights activists said the minor should get a chance to re-integrate
Shireen Vakil Miller, director of Save the Children, said: "The most
important step is to ensure that there is a comprehensive rehabilitation
package for the juvenile that includes counseling, and a provision for
vocational training. This would help the juvenile to re-integrate into the
society once he has completed his sentence.”
A native of Uttar Pradesh, the minor had moved to Delhi at the age of 11 and
was doing odd jobs. He was arrested after the incident from Anand Vihar in east
Delhi as he was trying to flee to his village in Uttar Pradesh.
Six people, including the minor, were arrested in the case. While accused Ram
Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur faced trial in fast
track court in Saket in south Delhi, the juvenile`s case was heard by the
The case against Ram Singh was dropped after he was found dead, hanging in his
cell in Tihar Jail.
With IANS inputs