The juvenile delinquent in the horrific December 16, 2012, gang rape case set free on Sunday after the Delhi High Court on Friday ruled that his three year detention in an observation home could not be extended after its completion. It is hard being a woman in India. Indeed, the crime which he committed is horrific. However, if in every case victim’s emotion is taken into consideration for judgement then all the accused need to be hanged, because in every criminal act there is victim and their family. Judiciary has given him another chance to change himself and feel guilty on his barbaric behaviour. We should respect the judicial system of India and remember that the system was architect by hard process and not by illiterates of this country.
Declining the issue or continue to the stay of the juvenile, who is now an adult, beyond December 20, a Division Bench of the High Court directed the Juvenile Justice Board of Delhi to interact with the boy, his parents and the Delhi government’s Women and Child Development Department officials about his post-release rehabilitation.
The 2012 Delhi gang rape case was involved a rape and fatal assault that occurred on 16 December 2012 in Munirka, a neighbourhood in South Delhi. The incident took place when a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern, Jyoti Singh Pandey was beaten and gang raped in a private bus in which she was travelling with a male friend, Awindra Pratap Pandey. 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.
Subsequently, public protests against the state and central governments for failing to provide adequate security for women took place in New Delhi, where thousands of protesters clashed with security forces. Similar protests took place in major cities throughout the country. Because India does not allow the press to publicize a rape victim’s name, the victim has become widely known as Nirbhaya, meaning “fearless”, and her life and death have come to symbolise women’s struggle to end rape and the long-held practice of blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator.
As a result of the protests, in December 2012, a judicial committee was set up to study and take public suggestions for the best ways to amend laws to provide quicker investigation and prosecution of sex offenders. After considering about 80,000 suggestions, the committee submitted a report which indicated that failures on the part of the government and police were the root cause behind crimes against women. In 2013, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee, several new laws were passed, and six new fast-track courts were created to hear rape cases. Critics argue that the legal system remains slow to hear and prosecute rape cases, but most agree that the case has resulted in a tremendous increase in the public discussion of crimes against women and statistics show that there has been an improvement in the number of women willing to file a crime report. However, in December 2014, the two-year anniversary of the attack, the girl’s father called the promises of reform unmet and said that he felt regret in that he had not been able to bring justice for his daughter and other women like her.
One of the accused was declared as 17 years and six months old on the day of the crime by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), which relied on his birth certificate and school documents. The JJB rejected a police request for a bone ossification (age determination) test for a positive documentation of his age. On 28 January 2013, the JJB determined that the juvenile would not be tried as an adult. The minor was tried separately in a juvenile court.
On 10th September 2013, the juvenile was convicted of rape and murder under the Juvenile Justice Act and given the maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment in a reform facility, inclusive of the eight months he spent in remand during the trial. The juvenile was released on Sunday. The Delhi Government’s department of Women and Child Development (WCD) has proposed providing him with a one-time financial grant of Rs. 10,000 and a sewing machine to help him set up a ladies’ tailoring shop. The Central Government has opposed his release and requested the Delhi High Court to extend his observation home stay, citing an Intelligence Bureau report which states that the juvenile has been radicalised by association with another juvenile convicted of involvement in the 2011 Delhi High Court bombing. The juvenile’s release has also been opposed by the victim’s parents. However, by laughing at the law the rapist walked away like free bird from remand room.