The Delhi High Court Friday asked the Centre to file a copy of the Intelligence Bureau report on the alleged “radicalisation” of the juvenile, held guilty in the December 16 gangrape case, in a sealed cover.
The juvenile, found guilty of the gangrape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in Delhi, is set to be released this month.
This is “not an ordinary case”, noted the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and asked the Centre to give reports about the measures taken, if any, regarding post-release rehabilitation of the juvenile.
The court also issued notice to the government to respond to a plea seeking delay of his release from the juvenile home. In the PIL, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has alleged that the juvenile, who has been in a juvenile home for the past three years, had been “radicalised” while in custody.
Swamy sought court orders to ensure that the juvenile is not released till it is “demonstrably assured” that he has been reformed and is not a menace to society.
The court has asked whether a management committee under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Rules has been created to monitor the juvenile after his release, and it also asked for details about the panel’s activities.
“What are the plans, take instruction… It is not an ordinary case and requires consideration,” said the bench.
The court also issued notices to the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home Affairs and the juvenile through the JJ Board.
It asked the government to get instructions from the committee and listed it for hearing on December 14.
“The plea seeks a pronouncement from the hon’ble court correcting a lacuna in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act,” stated the plea.
It added that the JJ Act had “no provision” to deal with juvenile offenders who had not been rehabilitated or reformed after their incarceration”.
The court passed the order after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and the central government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh told the bench that while there was no opposition to extend the juvenile’s stay at the observation home, as per the rules, the committee has to make plans for post-release rehabilitation.
The Centre’s counsel also placed IB reports, about the behaviour of the juvenile during his stay in the special home, before the court. However, the court asked the counsel to place the report before it in a sealed cover.
The JJ Board had sentenced the juvenile to three years’ detention in a reform home.
In his petition, Swamy contended, “No provision has been made in the Act to provide for vicious unregenerate convicted juveniles who, despite having undergone the reformation process for the maximum penalty of three year’s custody in a special home, continues to be a menace to the society”.
“…Provision has to be made to deal with such juvenile for further period…,” it added.
Swamy also said that the JJ Board should be given some “teeth to deal with such cases”.