Can’t block release of juvenile convict: SC (Roundup)

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea to block the release of the juvenile convict in the 2012 gang rape case citing absence of law in this regard, even as the victim’s parents protested at Jantar Mantar for more stringent guidelines to tackle criminals like him.

“We share your concern,” the apex court’s vacation bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said, dismissing the Delhi Commission for Women’s plea and observing that “everything has to be in accordance with law, we have to enforce law”.

“We need to have a clear legislative sanction,” the court said, making it clear that given the law as it stood today, it (DCW) could not ask for further detention of the convict, who is now aged 20.

Expressing disappointment, deceased victim Nirbhaya’s parents said they knew the Supreme Court won’t be able to help them as there has to be a new law to deal with a situation like this.

“I had no hope from the Supreme Court. I didn’t go to the court today (Monday) since I knew the verdict (in advance that it cannot block his release)”, the victim’s mother told reporters at Jantar Mantar.

Badrinath, father of the para-medical student who was gang raped and brutalised in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, told reporters they were being let down by the Narendra Modi government but people were stiil with them.

“People are still with us. It’s the government which has failed us. I have no hope of justice from Modi,” he said.

They also said that they would fight for a new law so that criminals like him do not get away because they were not of a certain age when the crime was committed.

“We will continue our fight to get the bill passed on the issue,” Badrinath said.

The parents of the victim also expressed fear that the Supreme Court ruling on the issue would encourage more such crimes to be committed against women.

“There is no provision (to convict juveniles) or to punish them. They (courts) are more concerned about the accused. Women have been cheated and they continue to be cheated. Nobody wants to do anything about women’s safety,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.

The juvenile, who was under 18 years of age when he was arrested for the brutal rape and brutalisation of the para-medical student who died of her injuries later, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.

He was put in a remand home for three years, the maximum permissible under the legal provisions.

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