Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday moved the Delhi high court seeking a direction to prosecute the sole juvenile along with five adult accused in the December 16 gangrape case, saying the waiver from prosecution to such minors was ‘unreasonable’.
"The age of 18 years as the flat cut off waiver in criminal offences is inconsistent with the international conventions and hence, is arbitrary and Wednesbury unreasonable," Swamy told a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain.
The court disposed of Swamy's plea saying "there was no cause of action to entertain this Public Interest Litigation at this stage. How can this statute [Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act] be interpreted by us in a PIL. We may do so if we get a reference from the lower court concerned."
The bench, however, gave Swamy the liberty to ‘take proper recourse’ by moving a sessions court if the Juvenile Justice Board does not allow his plea on the issue.
The juvenile is being tried separately by the Juvenile Justice Board. A fast track court has fixed the case for start of day-to-day trial on January 24 against five adult accused in the case.
A 23-year-old paramedic was gang-raped and brutally assaulted by six persons in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 and dumped on the road. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
"This crime has not only shocked the conscience of the nation but terrified parents, young boys girls and adults in the country," Swamy said.
The juvenile, who was emotionally and mentally mature, ‘must be’ tried with the other five adults under the Indian Penal Code, he said.