The Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by one of the death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case, who had claimed that he was minor at the time of the offence and should be treated under the Juvenile Justice Act.

Justice Suresh Kumar, while dismissing his plea, also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on convict Pawan Kumar Gupta’s lawyer A P Singh for not appearing before the court for hearing and wasting its time by trying to play “hide and seek” game.

The court has also asked the Delhi Bar Council to take action against the advocate. The court had earlier adjourned till January 24 the matter but after Nirbhaya’s parents objected, it recalled it and listed the matter for later today.

Gupta, in his plea, had stated that since he was juvenile in 2012 when the rape was committed, he should be treated under the Juvenile Justice Act. He alleged that his ossification test was not done at that point of time and he should be given the benefit of that.

The convict argued that the claim of juvenility can be raised at any time even after the final disposal of the case.

“Ossification test of the petitioner was conducted by the investigating officers. The age verification report filed by the investigating officers could not be relied upon. The convict should be treated as a juvenile under the Juvenile Justice Act,” stated the petition.

The case pertains to for rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student by six men on a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012.

Gupta, along with three others – Akshay, Vinay and Mukesh – is facing the gallows in the case.

The main accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail during the trial. Another accused was a minor at the time of the commission of the crime and was sent to a reform facility and released after three years. (ANI)


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