Supreme Court has rejected the plea against the release of the youngest convict of December 16, gang rape incident, who was tried as a juvenile. Rejecting the plea which was filed late on Saturday night by the Delhi government’s women panel, a day before his release, the apex court bench held that there are no legal provisions to hold or restrict his release.
The petition was filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) after it got representations from few quarters raising apprehensions over his release. The convict, whose sentence got over on Sunday, was released from Delhi’s juvenile home and sent to an NGO.
“If anything has to be done, it has to be done according to the law. We have to enforce the law,” top court vacation bench comprising justices AK Goel and UU Lalit said rejecting the petition, which had also contended that convict can be subjected to the reformation process for a further period of two years under the juvenile law.
“Will we not taking away somebody’s right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. There is nothing in the law to provide that,” the bench told in its order.
Before his imminent release on Sunday, the youngest convict was moved out of Delhi amid series of protest pitched by the late victim’s kin and few other students outfit demanding stay of his release.
The 20-year-old convict, who completed his three years term, was known to be the most brutal of the attackers. Delhi government has now sent him to an NGO, where he is expected to stay till the state government finalises his rehabilitation plan.
On Friday, the Delhi High Court had declined the petition seeking stay on the release of the convict who was tried as a juvenile person.
“…having regard to the fact that the maximum stay that can be directed in the Special Home under Section 15(1) of the Act is three years and that the respondent No.1 would be completing the period of three years by 20.12.2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the Special Home beyond 20.12.2015. Hence, we decline to issue any direction as prayed by the petitioner,” the High Court order read.
On the other hand, victim’s parents are firm in their protest against his release.
“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,” the late victims’ father had told the press after the release of youngest convict on Sunday evening.
The convict along with five others had gang raped 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 in north Delhi by the Juvenile Justice Board.
(With inputs from the PTI)