Juvenile rapists can walk free in India
New Delhi : In what appeared to be a shocking decision from the corridors of Delhi High Court, the Delhi HC has refused stay on release of juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape. The juvenile convicted in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya will walk free on Sunday, after the Delhi High Court on Friday refused to yield to the stay demanded on his release, and negated passing any directive on extending his three-year stay in a reform home.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had urged the court to not release the juvenile, claiming he had been radicalized while in the reform home. Swamy’s plea got heard, based on which, the court has issued notices to the Central and Delhi governments on the matter. However, the juvenile rapist, who was under 18 when he was arrested for the brutal rape and murder of a student of paramedics on December 16, 2012, after having been tried under the Juvenile Justice Act, was ordered to be kept in a remand home for three years. With the term coming to and end, the same person would now be allowed to roam freely in the public life, thanks to the court’s wise decision.
The parents of Nirbhaya, who were present in the court, appeared visibly shocked by the court’s decision to let the juvenile walk free. The mother of the victim came out of the court, and stated, with tears in her eyes, ‘Even after all our efforts, the juvenile convict will now be released.’
Students from various college groups responded with agitated aggression calling this a major blow to women’s rights and safety. A college student, under condition of anonymity, stated this event as a ripe episode for motivating women in the city to take law into their own hands. She simply said, ‘This is how lynching gets triggered. If I come across that boy, I would be instigated into lynching the person, and bringing him down with whatever weapon I can, starting from pelting stones.’ The student was one of the persons who lead the candle march for Nirbhaya and stood through her family’s woes all these years.
BJP Leader Swamy, calling the juvenile (20) an ‘animal’, had stated last week that it would be dangerous to release him into society. He also appealed to the court to make provisions in the law to deal with situations where juveniles are convicted of such serious offences. The Centre too, did its own turn by seeking an extension of his stay in the reform home until all issues — including the juvenile’s mental health and a post-release rehabilitation plan or him — had been considered by the authorities.
A trial court had awarded the death penalty to four rapists, a sentence that was upheld by the high court. Of the six convicts, one was found dead in Tihar Jail and the juvenile was sent to a reform home. The appeals for four convicts are pending before the Supreme Court.