India Court Approves Release of Juvenile Rapist in 2012 New Delhi Gang Rape

An Indian activist takes part in a protest marking the third anniversary of the Delhi gang rape crime, which provoked widespread outrage. (Rajat Gupta/EPA)
An Indian activist takes part in a protest marking the third anniversary of the Delhi gang rape crime, which provoked widespread outrage. (Rajat Gupta/EPA)

The juvenile convicted in the fatal gang rape of a young woman in a moving bus three years ago will not be kept in the correction home beyond the end of his term this week, the high court in New Delhi announced Friday.

The court, which was hearing a petition against his release scheduled for Sunday, directed government welfare agencies and the juvenile justice board to develop a “post-release rehabilitation and social mainstreaming” plan for the youth after discussion with his family.

The juvenile rapist, who was convicted in 2013 for his part in the fatal gang rape of the young paramedic student that sparked a national uproar, was just a few months short of turning 18 at the time of the crime. India’s Juvenile Justice Board sent him to a correction home for three years, the maximum detention period for juveniles here.

Since then, he has generated an angry debate about whether India’s law has been too soft on him because of his age. Investigators said he had treated the young woman most brutally, wielding the metal rod that caused her fatal internal injuries.

“The assurance of justice that was given to us earlier, we did not get today,” said Asha Singh, the mother of the rape victim, speaking to reporters outside the court. “A criminal has been allowed to go free today. I am disappointed.”

Singh and her husband had earlier asked the National Human Rights Commission not to release him. And if he is released, they said, his name and face must be made public.

“The terror that we had faced a few years ago, will be back on our streets,” Anil Soni, a government counsel in the case told reporters. “It’s a setback for the country.”

The juvenile rapist has become a flashpoint for calls for reform of the legal system.

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SOURCE: Rama Lakshmi
The Washington Post

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