8 years on, juvenile board yet to prove if rape accused was minor

8 years on, juvenile board yet to prove if rape accused was minor

Almost eight years back, a 13-year-old was allegedly gang raped and tortured by six youths in a moving car at night. She was later thrown out from the vehicle near a bridge in the state capital.

The plight of the girl came out in the open two days later and case was registered at Ashiana police station here against the youths.

But justice still eludes the victim because it is yet to be determined whether the main accused was a juvenile or an adult at that time.

One of the accused was the nephew of an influential Samajwadi Party leader.

The girl's medical examination had  confirmed rape and brutal torture. Her body had burn marks caused by cigarette butts.

The five accused later surrendered in court while police arrested one. Two minor accused were sentenced by the juvenile justice board, of whom one died later. One of the accused turned  approver and the rest are on bail. But the prosecution of the main accused, identified as Faizan, has not even begun as his age could not be determined.

The juvenile justice board was still hearing the matter. The hearing concluded only on Thursday, and the board is likely to pronounce judgement on the age on Tuesday.

“We had hoped that we would get justice quickly and the culprits would be punished but even after eight years, the board has not been able to determine Faizan's real age,” said the victim's father, who has been regularly attending the hearings.

He said the lawyers for the accused always try to get the hearing deferred on one pretext or the other. “I hope that the judgement will finally be announced on Tuesday,” he said.

It was alleged that the family of the accused had submitted fake documents pertaining to age to prove that he was a minor at the time of the incident.