31 AUG 2013
Delhi gang-rape: juvenile to be sent to special home for less than three years, girl’s parents to appeal
New Delhi: In the first verdict in the gang-rape of a Delhi student on a moving bus in December, a juvenile court today found the youngest accused guilty of rape and murder. He was sentenced to three years at a reform center, but the six months he has already spent in a home will be knocked off.
He was a few months short of 18 at the time of the savage crime.
“We feel cheated. It’s a crime to be born a girl in this country,” said the girl’s parents, shattered at the verdict. They said they would challenge it in a higher court.
The parents had demanded the most severe punishment for all six accused including the juvenile.
“This kind of justice is meaningless, unacceptable. If an accused gets only three years for rape and murder, he might as well be allowed to go free,” said the girl’s mother, crying bitterly. “This verdict will encourage crimes like this.”
She had earlier said an accused should be punished according to his crime, not his age.
The fatal attack on the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern provoked national outrage and impelled an overhaul of archaic laws to punish sexual crimes against women.
The inquiry against the juvenile, who had said he is innocent, was completed on August 5 but the ruling was deferred repeatedly because of a Supreme Court case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy which seeks to change the legal definition of a juvenile.
The juvenile had also been convicted of robbing a carpenter who boarded the same bus on the night of December 16 last year, and was thrown out before the student and her boyfriend were assaulted.
Of the five adults who were arrested, one committed suicide in jail in March. The others are being tried by a special fast-track court and could face the death sentence if convicted.
The verdict on them is expected in mid-September.
The young woman and her boyfriend had finished watching a movie at a popular south Delhi mall when they were allegedly tricked into boarding an off-duty bus. The police say the men on board then raped and brutalised the woman and savagely beat the man before dumping them naked on the roadside. The woman died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.