Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Juvenile Justice Board on Thursday reserved its much-awaited verdict on the role of a minor accused in the infamous December 16 gang-rape case.
The Juvenile Board, which was due to pronounce its verdict today, deferred its decision till July 25.
It will be the first verdict in the December 16 gang-rape case in which a 23-year-old paramedical student was brutally assaulted and gang-raped by six persons on a moving bus in the national capital last year.
The Juvenile Justice Board had concluded hearing the case of the teenager on July 5 and reserved its order for today (July 11), which was also deferred.
The Juvenile Board also issued some directions for the media asking it to exercise restraint while reporting the proceedings in the case.
"The Board directed the media not to report about conviction or acquittal in this case," Rajesh Tiwari, Counsel for Juvenile Justice Board told reporters.
The minor accused was taken to the court this morning amid tight security. Meanwhile, the father, uncle and the brother of the Delhi gang-rape victim were also present in the juvenile court to hear the verdict.
The juvenile, who was 17-year-old at the time of the crime, faces a maximum sentence of three years in a correctional facility if found guilty.
On July 5, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) presided by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel concluded its inquiry that began in March against the juvenile, who, the police claimed, was the "most brutal" of all the six accused persons.
After hearing the final arguments in the matter, the JJB reserved its order, saying the prosecution and defence could give any clarification they want to on that day.
The JJB also concluded its inquiry in the case against the juvenile pertaining to robbing Ramadhar, a carpenter, who had boarded the bus on the fateful night of December 16, 2012 and was thrown out before the victim and her male friend were assaulted.
The girl had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.
A native of Uttar Pradesh who had moved to Delhi as an 11-year-old and took up menial jobs, the juvenile was one of the six persons accused in the case.
While the juvenile faced inquiry before the JJB, the four adult accused are being tried before a fast track court. Key accused Ram Singh was found hanging in Tihar Jail in March and the proceedings against him stand abated.
During the inquiry, the JJB recorded the statements of six prosecution witnesses including the victim`s male friend and also the carpenter.
The counsel for the juvenile had submitted that there was no medical evidence against him to connect him with the charges and no finger prints could be detected in the bus to show his complicity.
The defence counsel had claimed that the juvenile had been implicated by the police though neither the victim nor her male friend had done so in their initial statements.
He had also said that the victim`s male friend, who is the complainant in the case, did not depose against him even before the JJB and alleged that Ramadhar, who is said to have identified him as one of the six accused in the bus, had deposed falsely at the behest of the police.
The juvenile had in his statement recorded by the Board during the inquiry claimed innocence and refuted the police version in the charge sheet of him being the "most brutal" of all the accused.
The juvenile had claimed that he was himself victimised by his employer and prime accused Ram Singh, who, he said, did not pay him for his work.
Besides the juvenile, four adults facing trial in the case are – Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.
They have been charged with gang-rape, murder, criminal conspiracy, unnatural sex and robbery besides other sections of IPC.
With PTI inputs