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Juvenile convict in Dec 16 gangrape case walks free


New Delhi :  The juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape was today released and sent to an NGO at an undisclosed destination with police no longer guarding him.

The freedom for the 20 year-old convict came as parents of the gangrape victim continued their protest for the second day today along with activists protesting against his release and demanding death for him.

“We have left him with an NGO,” police sources said. Government sources said when asked two days back whether he would like to go home in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh or to an NGO, he opted for the latter citing security concerns.

The release became possible notwithstanding the Delhi Commission for Women’s late night effort to stall it failed after the Supreme Court post-midnight held a sitting and refused to stay it.

In its order, the Supreme Court declined to stop the release of the juvenile offender and posted the matter before a vacation bench that will hear the matter tomorrow.

Swati Maliwal, chairperson of the DCW which had approached the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court had also declined to stay his release, hoped that since the matter has become sub judice, the government and Delhi Police will not release the juvenile offender.

“We are helpless as far as the release is concerned. Our
government, whether Centre or state, they only listen to you
when you protest and get lathicharged, else they don’t care,” said the victim’s father Badri Singh Pandey.

Asha Devi, the victim’s mother said, “All knew that he will be released, so adequate steps should have been taken in the past three years.”

The Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court refusing to restrain the release of the convict, was referred by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur to the vacation bench.

Lawyers associated with the case, including senior advocate Guru Krishna Kumar and Devdutt Kamath, had rushed to Justice Goel’s residence at around 1.30 AM after Maliwal was told by the Registrar that the matter has been assigned to the vacation bench.

The grounds which has been taken in the appeal against the High Court order says that no mental assessment of the state of mind of the juvenile offender has been taken into account for his release.

Kamath said that there are intelligence reports that even during his stay in the provision home, the convict was unremorseful of his action and he has been further radicalised. So at this stage, it cannot be said that he is not a threat to the society.

The SLP has also stated that though the High Court was of the view that there was a need for mental assessment of the convict, there was no direction that before his release the authorities should go for a health and mental assessment of the offender.

The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, was yesterday taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life.

Delhi government has said it had submitted a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile convict.

The government said that as per the plan, a one-time financial grant of Rs 10,000 will be given to the youth and a sewing machine will be arranged for him so that he can rent a tailor shop.

The convict along with five others had gangraped and murdered the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on December 16, 2012, an incident that shook the nation and led to protests in the country.

He was sentenced to three years in a reform home ‘Place of Safety’ in north Delhi’s Magazine Road by Juvenile Justice Board, a punishment which drew criticism from several quarters saying it was not adequate and was disproportionate in view of the heinous crime he had committed.

There were also demands that he be tried in an adult court.

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