A 17-year-old boy, apprehended for strangulating an elderly woman two months after he was released from a correction home, could be the first juvenile to be tried as an adult under a new law passed by Parliament in December.
The Delhi Police has urged the Juvenile Justice Board to treat the boy as an adult as he allegedly murdered the woman just five months after kidnapping and killing a 13-year-old boy for which he was sent to the correction home.
The boy was released from the juvenile home in December last year for his "good behaviour" after his parents applied for bail, saying he had to appear for Class X exams. He was apprehended again yesterday on charge of killing the woman at South Delhi's B K Gupta Colony.
If the Juvenile Justice Board accepts the recommendation of the Delhi Police, then the boy will be the first to be tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
The legislation lowering the age of juvenile criminality from 18 to 16 years if they are found to be involved in heinous crimes was cleared by the Parliament on December 22. It was passed after a prolonged debate on whether juveniles involved in heinous crimes should be tried as adults.
The demand for the new law had grown following release of the juvenile convict in the December 16, 2012 gangrape case.
"We have submitted a written application to the Juvenile Justice Board, urging them to treat the juvenile, who is around 17 years and 11 months old, like an adult. This teenager could be the first to be tried under the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act," a senior police official said today.
The juvenile was apprehended from his residence in Faridabad yesterday for allegedly strangulating to death a 65-year-old woman, and then robbing her of cash, jewellery and other expensive articles, at her residence in south Delhi's BK Dutt colony.
In September 2015, the juvenile, along with his girlfriend, had allegedly abducted and murdered a 13-year-old boy for money which he needed for participating in a popular reality dance show, police said.
After being released from a correction home around two months ago, he targeted the elderly woman, identified as Mithilesh Jain, a widow.
The woman was found dead on Monday by her son-in-law but the police had then claimed that it was a case of natural death. Things took a turn when Jain's relatives informed police that some jewellery, cash and expensive items, including two mobile phones, were missing from her residence.
Meanwhile, the post-mortem report also suggested that she was strangulated, following which police registered a case at Lodhi Colony police station.
Police traced the boy when he switched on one of the phones which he had allegedly robbed from Jain and apprehended him on Friday.
Jain, who had retired from her job at Safdarjung Hospital which she got after her husband's death, is survived by her son who lives in Singapore, a daughter settled in the US, and another daughter who lives with her chartered accountant husband elsewhere in Delhi. She was planning to leave for Singapore in a few days.
The boy knew Jain for years through his father who had worked as an electrician in BK Dutt colony. He knew Jain's background and had allegedly planned the act soon after his release, police said.
After he allegedly strangulated Jain, he put her body on the bed to make it appear like a case of natural death. It was Jain's son-in-law who found her lying motionless with a bleeding nose, following which he raised an alarm.
The accused is a trained choreographer. The 13-year-old boy whom he had allegedly abducted and killed after taking him to a hilltop near Nainital last year, was a student in the same dance school where he takes training.
He was then apprehended by the southeast district of Delhi Police and during questioning he had said that he wanted money to pursue his dreams of participating in a popular dance show, police added.