Confirming The Sunday Express report on the release of the juvenile convicted in the December 16, 2012 gangrape case, a lawyer who represented him said the juvenile was no longer in the detention home where he spent three years and was now at an NGO-run shelter.
Advocate A P Singh told The Indian Express he had spoken to the juvenile Sunday evening. “I spoke to him around 5 pm. He is free and at the shelter home and will come out of there in a few days,” Singh said.
He blamed the media for “turning people against” the juvenile convict. “He was supposed to go back home but there are protests there and (television) OB vans have come. We haven’t even been able to speak to his mother,” Singh said.
A petition against the release of the juvenile will be heard by a vacation bench of the Supreme Court at 10.30 am Monday, according to sources in the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
There was high drama post midnight Saturday after the DCW decided to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court.
FIRST IN THE EXPRESS: Process for release begins
The decision was taken after DCW chief Swati Maliwal met Vice President Hamid Ansari to discuss the issue. According to Maliwal, Ansari assured that a proposed amendment to the juvenile justice law will be presented in Rajya Sabha in the next three days. In a tweet, she said Ansari told her nothing could be done under the existing law in the case of the December 16 case juvenile.
The DCW said it was approaching the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order which last Friday declined to extend the stay of the juvenile at the special home.
“The Respondent was one of the convict in the Nirbhaya Gang Rape case. At the relevant time of the offence, the said Respondent was juvenile and was ordered to be sent to a Special Home for a period of three years. The period three years expires on 20.12.2015,” the DCW petition stated.
A vacation bench, comprising Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit, will take up the plea Monday after the matter was referred to it by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur.
On Sunday, Maliwal wrote to Murari Prasad Singh, Principal Magistrate of Juvenile Justice Board II: “This is to bring to your kind notice that the Delhi Commission for Women has moved a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Hon’ble Supreme Court last night challenging the imminent release of the juvenile boy in the Nirbhaya gang rape case. The matter has been listed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court for tomorrow and is thus sub-judice. In light of the above, I request you to kindly not precipitate the matter until the same is heard by the Hon’ble Supreme Court tomorrow.”
She also took to Twitter: “Just wrote to Juvenile Justice Board that SC is hearing matter tomorrow, case is subjudice, requesting that juvenile should not be released.”
“People of this country don’t want Nirbhaya’s rapist to walk free. India Gate protest shows that. Have a lot of hope from SC tomorrow,” Maliwal tweeted.
The DCW petition stated that the release of the juvenile be put on hold “unless the effect of the social reformation aspects have been assessed”. It referred to newspaper reports that the juvenile was “completely unremorseful and has been further radicalised by association with other juvenile in conflict with the law in Special Home”.
Claiming that there is “serious apprehension considering the heinous nature of the crime committed” by the juvenile as well as his behaviour and attitude in the special home, the DCW raised concerns about his possible “criminal/perverse bent of mind which pose a serious threat to women at particular and society at large”.
The DCW also called for a committee consisting of the DCW and the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to visit the juvenile at “the observation home and access the current mental state of the boy (Respondent)”.