THE PATHANKOT District and Sessions Court, which is hearing the gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old Kathua girl, on Tuesday ordered a medical board be set up in Jammu to determine the age of one of the eight accused in the case, who has pleaded to be treated as a juvenile. The court has also ordered a bone ossification test on the accused and sought a report by July 2.
While one of the eight accused in the case has already been declared a juvenile by a Kathua court, a second accused, facing trial before the Pathankot court, moved an application last week for treating him as a minor citing his matriculation certificate.
The accused, at present, has been charged with attempt to rape and other offences and is being treated as an adult.
According to sources, counsel representing the accused have produced his matriculation and residential certificates to plead that he is a minor and argued that he needs to be treated as a juvenile, on a par with the other accused who is already being treated as a juvenile.
The two certificates reportedly claim that the accused was at least two months short of 18 at the time of the offence, sources said.
The prosecution, however, is reported to have told the court that the certificate cannot be taken as proof as there is no basis on which the age had been recorded by the school.