The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya rape case who spent three years in a remand home, to walk free on December 20 after it refused to intervene in the case. The court said that the convict cannot be kept at the juvenile home beyond Sunday, since he has already undergone the maximum punishment of three years under the JJ Act. A petition seeking his extended stay at the remand home was filed by BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy.
The court has directed the Juvenile Justice Board in Delhi to interact with the juvenile, his parents/guardians as well as the concerned officials of the Department of Women and Child Development. The JJ board and the department will interact on the matters of the convict’s post-release rehabilitation and social mainstreaming. The JJ board will have the powers to pass orders according to the laws in the JJ act.
The court has however noted that Subramanian Swamy’s petition opposing the release points to a larger issue of public importance and requires deeper consideration. The Delhi HC has asked the Department of Women and Child Development and Delhi government to give their views on the issue within eight weeks.
Excerpts from the judgment
Here are the highlights from the judgment.
The juvenile has been regularly counselled by the Counsellors of Mental Health Unit. Vocational skills have been imparted to him and a rehabilitation plan has also been indicated.
The juvenile will also be placed under Individual Care Plan at a Special Home in terms of Rules 50(12), 54(1)(o) and 87(1)(k) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007.
Since the juvenile has completed the period of three years by 20.12.2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the Special Home beyond 20.12.2015.
The juvenile will come under two rules of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007.
A). Rule 17(3) provides that the release shall be as per the pre-release and post-release plan prepared under the Individual Care Plan and reviewed from time to time by the Management Committee set up under Rule 55.
B). Rule 50(12) provides for developing an individual care plan with the ultimate aim of the child being rehabilitated and reintegrated based on their case history, circumstances and individual needs.