December 16 gang rape: Verdict involving juvenile deferred to August 19

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New Delhi: The judgement in the December 16 gang rape case involving a minor was on Monday deferred till August 19 by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) pursuant to a direction of the Supreme Court.
 
The JJB presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel postponed the verdict for August 19 considering the fact that the Supreme Court has asked it not to pronounce its order till it decides a petition concerning the interpretation of the term "juvenile", police sources said.
 
They said the board also posted for August 19 its order on sentence against the juvenile in a case in which he was earlier convicted for robbing a carpenter onboard the bus before allegedly assaulting the girl and her friend on the night of December 16, last year.
 
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 the 23-year-old was brutally gangraped and assaulted in a moving bus in south Delhi. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 leading to slapping of charge of murder against the juvenile and other co-accused.
 
The apex court had on July 31 asked Swamy to inform the JJB not to pronounce its verdict on the alleged role of the minor in the December 16 gangrape and murder case, till it
decides the PIL.
 
Swamy's plea will come up for hearing before the apex court on August 14. He has 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 its verdict.

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