New Delhi: Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), Swati Maliwal today wrote to the President of India, requesting him to intervene in the matter regarding the release of the Delhi gang-rape juvenile from the remand home on Dec 20.
Here is her appeal to the Honourable President of India:
Hon’ble Shri Pranab Mukherjee
Hon’ble President of India
The horrific rape of Nirbhaya on 16th December 2012 had shaken the entire country and resulted in nation-wide protests demanding a major overhaul in the existing systems to ensure justice to sexual assault victims. As you are aware, the juvenile in conflict with the law in Nirbhaya’s case is being released on 20th December 2015.
Recently, Nirbhaya’s parents had met me and expressed their deep anguish over the imminent release. Their anger and anguish is shared by many citizens of Delhi, including me. In addition, the people at large are unaware of the supposed reformation the said boy has undergone and worry about him repeating the offence. At the same time, some even perceive a threat to the boy’s life in case he is released.
Today, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi heard a Public Interest Litigation filed to stop the release of Nirbhaya’s rapist from the Observation Home. As per the judgement of the Hon’ble High Court, the Hon’ble Court has denied granting stay on the release of the convict but has noted that there is a need for “deeper consideration on ascertaining the factum of reformation of the juveniles in conflict with law before they are released from the Special Home on expiry of the period of stay ordered by the Juvenile Justice Board”. It was also brought on record in the said judgement that there is no material to establish the mental state of Nirbhaya’s rapist.
I understand that the Governments and the Courts are bound by the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and that is why probably are not being able to detain the boy longer than three years in the Observation Home. However, since the status of the boy’s mental reformation has not been properly ascertained, in larger public interest it may be pertinent to detain him at least until the same is done.
It is pertinent to note here that the public sentiment has exacerbated due to the rumours regarding the boy’s alleged non-repentance for the crime. In light of the particularly heinous nature of the crime executed by this boy, the Delhi Commission of Women requests your Hon’ble self to kindly intervene in the matter and ensure that the boy be kept in the Observation Home at least until his mental frame of mind and reformation is properly ascertained.
Also, it is imperative that the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill which seeks to reduce the juvenile age to 16 years in certain categories of cases and is pending with the Rajya Sabha is immediately passed along with the requisite amendments for putting in place strong review mechanisms of the mental reformation undergone by a juvenile convict before his/her release.
I request your Hon’ble self to kindly intervene for the quick passage of the said Bill.
The Commission understands that the Governments and the Courts cannot let public opinion override judicial procedures and laws. However, on behalf of all the Nirbhayas we have visited in police stations, hospitals, shelter homes and courts, the Commission does believe that the concerns raised in this particular case are serious and worthy of consideration. I request for your immediate intervention in the matter.