The youngest convict in the December 16 gangrape case will walk free on Sunday as the Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay his release.
The juvenile, who was under 18 when he was arrested for the brutal rape and murder of a student of paramedics on December 16, 2012, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. He was ordered to be kept in a remand home for three years.
The courts have refused to intervene in the case that was being handled by the juvenile justice board. Since the convict has already undergone the maximum punishment of three years under the JJ Act, he cannot be kept at the juvenile home beyond December 20. A plea by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy had sought a stay on his release from the observation home.
The victim’s mother broke down in court after hearing the verdict. “The justice that was promised to us has not been delivered to us. A convict is going to walk free,” she said according to news reports.
The order comes three years after a 23-year-old girl was gang raped by six men on a moving bus in the national capital. There were six others in the bus, including the driver, all of whom raped the woman and beat her friend. Thirteen days after the assault, she was transferred to a hospital in Singapore for emergency treatment, but died from her injuries two days later. The incident generated widespread national and international coverage and was widely condemned, both in India and abroad.
Parents 0f Nirbhaya recently expressed disgust at lack of safety for women in the national capital. At a photo exhibition called Unearthed: Stories of Courage in the Face of Sexual Violence, father of the gang rape victim Badri Singh said that their daughter was no longer alive, but they remain worried about the other girls who walk the streets of the capital. “If the juvenile is freed then he can make anyone his next target and we don’t want that to happen,” Singh had said.
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