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Delhi gang-rape: Verdict on juvenile deferred till Aug 5

Delhi gang-rape: Verdict on juvenile deferred till Aug 5

New Delhi: The verdict in the December 16 gang-rape case involving a minor was Thursday deferred to August 5 by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB).

The JJB presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel postponed the verdict for August 5 considering the fact that the Supreme Court is seized of a petition concerning the interpretation of the term "juvenile", counsel for the accused Rajesh Tiwari said.

He also said that the sentence (dispositional order) in the robbery case, in which the juvenile has already been held guilty by the JJB, has also been deferred to August 5.

The JJB's order was put off in the light of the plea of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy for a fresh interpretation of the term 'juvenile' which he raised in the wake of the December 16 incident in which a 23-year-old was brutally gangraped and assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.

Agreeing to hear his plea, the Supreme Court had on July 23 asked Swamy to inform the JJB about his pending petition in the apex court.

Accordingly, Swamy had informed the JJB about the direction given by the apex court pursuant to which he was asked by the Board to furnish an affidavit in this regard.

Swamy's plea will come up for hearing before the apex court on July 31.

He has in his petition sought that the "mental and intellectual maturity" should be considered instead of age limit of 18 years for such offenders while fixing their culpability and contended that his plea would become infructuous if the JJB went ahead with pronouncement of verdict, which was scheduled for today.

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