The Juvenile Justice Board declared Monday that the sixth accused in the Delhi gang-rape case is a juvenile. The verdict came in an appeal filed by the authorities seeking a bone marrow test on the accused - who claimed he is juvenile - to determine his age.
According to reports, the sixth accused had submitted his school certificates - which said he was born in June 4, 1995 - to prove his age.
The authorities investigating the brutal gang-rape and subsequent death of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in Delhi had been suspecting that the age of accused in the birth certificate could be wrong.
Based on the verdict declared today, the sixth accused - who allegedly inflicted the most violent injuries on the victim - will face trial under the Juvenile Justice Act and is likely to face a maximum of a three-year sentence in a correction home, if convicted.
The authorities said they will appeal the verdict in a higher court.
However, the experts monitoring the case said that if the government constitutes a medical panel it can still conduct a bone X-ray and dental test to determine the age of the accused, Zee News has reported.
The active involvement of the juvenile accused in such a heinous crime had sparked a nation-wide debate on redefining the age of juveniles, with many including the family of the victim urging to treat the sixth accused as an adult.
However, the legal experts had opined that such moves will be in violation of the United Nations laws to which India is a signatory.
The Dec. 16 gang-rape of the paramedical student in a moving bus in South Delhi had created nationwide uproar over the increasing incidence of crimes against women in India, besides forcing the authorities to take measures to improve safety of women in public places.
Six suspects - five adults and a juvenile - were arrested in connection with the case. The five adults, charged with abduction, rape and murder are facing trial in a Delhi fast track court.
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