New Delhi: The youngest of six men who raped and tortured a young medical student on a moving bus in 2012, is likely to walk free on Sunday, with the Delhi High Court saying he can no longer be kept at a correctional home where he has spent a three-year sentence.
“We agree it is a serious issue. But after December 20, a juvenile cannot be kept at a special home per law,” the court said today on a petition by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
The rapist, now 21, has reportedly said he wants to take up sewing. His release will be challenged legally by the Delhi Commission for Women.
The convict was just a few months short of 18 when he and five others attacked 23-year-old Jyoti Singh and her male friend on the night of December 16, 2012, in an incident that shook India to the core and led to protests in the country as well as abroad. The juvenile was the most brutal of the six and tortured her using an iron rod, allege Jyoti’s parents.
He was sentenced to three years in a reform home, a punishment which was seen by many as disproportionate to the enormity of his crime and which spurred demands for changes to the law so teenagers involved in serious crimes can be tried as adults. Four other rapists have been sentenced to death and a fifth was found dead in prison.
For three years, Jyoti’s parents Asha Devi and Badrinath had fought to stop the release of the juvenile. “The court abandoned us. We did not get justice. Despite all our efforts, the criminal will get away with what he did,” her mother Asha Devi said at the court, looking shattered by the decision.
Hours ago, she had said that “if he is released, his face should be shown to the world. He remains a threat to the society.”
Jyoti’s father has also repeatedly said that his name must be revealed.
The Centre had urged the court to stop his release until there was more clarity on a rehabilitation plan.