All those who have been demanding the continued incarceration of the juvenile offender in the gangrape and murder of Jyoti Singh are within their rights to seek justice for the victim and her family. Their apprehension that the juvenile once set free might be a threat to society is justified too. Yet there are times when public emotion and the law fail to find a point of convergence. In such cases the latter must prevail. Sometimes, a flawed narrative gains precedence and goes on dictating the public sentiment.
India’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal against the release of the youngest convict in the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape case.
The rapist, who cannot be named as he was a minor at the time of the crime, was sentenced to a maximum three years in a reform facility in August 2013.
He was released from detention recently and is currently housed with a charity because of fears over his safety.
Under the current law, his detention cannot be extended, the court said.
Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, died after being brutally raped by six men on a moving bus in 2012, causing global outrage.
Four adult convicts in the case are appealing against death sentences. A fifth died in prison.
The release of the youngest convict has been opposed by many people, including the parents of Ms Singh.
In a last-ditch attempt to prevent his release, the Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal filed a petition in the Supreme Court late on Saturday night.
On Monday, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition, saying it “shared” the concern of most citizens but its hands were “tied” by the law.
“We share your concern but our hands are tied by the existing law. There has to be clear legislative sanction to extend the detention period beyond three years. Under the present law, detention cannot be extended beyond three years,” the top court said.
Last week, a legal challenge by politician Subramanian Swamy to stop the release had also failed.
The Delhi high court ruled on the case on Friday, saying: “We agree it is a serious issue. But after 20 December, the juvenile cannot be kept at a special home per law.”
Although the convict is now an adult, he has been handed over to a charity, where he will remain for at least two years.
Source : BBC News
How said it is to hear such justice in a democratic country like India, where polictics are given much importance than people.
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