Gang rape: Cops want harsh­est penalty for mi­nor

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Po­lice are ex­plor­ing all op­tions to en­sure that the youngest and the most bru­tal of the six ac­cused — de­clared a mi­nor on Mon­day — gets max­i­mum pun­ish­ment for his role in the Delhi gang rape and mur­der case, said sources.

“We will try ev­ery­thing that the law per­mits us to do so that the ju­ve­nile ac­cused gets the pun­ish­ment that he de­serves, ir­re­spec­tive of his age,” said a se­nior of­fi­cer on con­di­tion of anonymity. Get­ting the or­der over­turned is one such op­tion.

On Mon­day, a ju­ve­nile jus­tice board ac­cepted his school cer­tifi­cate as a proof of age and de­clared the boy to be a mi­nor. He is five months shy of 18. If found guilty, he will get away with three years in a re­form home. The other five ac­cused face a pos­si­ble death penalty.

“If a cou­ple of months that keep him from the age of 18 can be a rea­son for a lighter pun­ish­ment, why can’t some pro­vi­sions in the law be over­looked given the sever­ity and bru­tal­ity of the crime,” the of­fi­cer asked.

Apart from the gov­ern­men­tap­pointed pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor, the po­lice were con­sult­ing sev­eral le­gal ex­perts, said sources.

The or­der has evoked strong re­ac­tions. The vic­tim’s fa­ther, who is plan­ning to chal­lenge move court, said all ac­cused should be hanged. While the board ruled out bone test to de­ter­mine the boy’s age, the de­mand for os­si­fi­ca­tion test is grow­ing.

“We are yet to get a copy of the or­der and will be in a po­si­tion to legally chal­lenge it only when we have stud­ied it in depth,” said a se­nior of­fi­cer on con­di­tion of anonymity.

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