DCW chief urges JJB to not go ahead on juvenile convict's release

DCW chief urges JJB to not go ahead on juvenile convict's release

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal today urged the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) against going ahead on the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape case, saying that the matter is listed for a hearing in Supreme Court tomorrow.

Amidst these developments and a dramatic post-midnight move by Maliwal to approach the apex court seeking a stay on the release of the juvenile convict, the parents of the victim, however, said that the last-minute efforts were "just for show".

Writing to Murari Prasad Singh, the Principal Magistrate at JJB-II, Maliwal said, "This is to bring to your kind notice that the DCW has moved a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in Supreme Court last night challenging the imminent release of the juvenile boy in the gangrape case.

"The matter has been listed in Supreme Court for tomorrow and is thus sub-judice... I request you to kindly not precipitate the matter until the same is heard by Supreme Court tomorrow."

Maliwal had approached Supreme Court seeking a stay on the release of the juvenile convict, who is now 20-years-old and said to have been the most brutal of the five rapists.

According to sources, the release order of the juvenile convict was prepared at least a day before he was moved out of the correctional home and sent to an undisclosed location. However, the order is yet to be signed for his formal release.

The criminal record of the juvenile has been expunged as per legal provisions and his identity shall not be disclosed, sources said.

Meanwhile, the victim's mother dubbed the DCW's late night efforts as "pretense" and said it was "just for show", prompting Maliwal to respond that the consultations with the legal team resulted in the delay in filing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP).

"It was after a meeting with the Vice President that we realised that nothing was happening and I started knocking all other doors.

"Our efforts were genuine and we took all possible steps to stop the juvenile's release. I am sad to know that our efforts are being seen as pretense," said the DCW chief. 

Last night, a vacation bench comprising Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit in an order pronounced at 2 AM had posted the matter for hearing on Monday.

The Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court refusing to restrain the release of the convict was referred by the Chief Justice of India TS Thakur before the vacation bench.

After the order by Supreme Court, the DCW chairperson and the lawyers of the women's panel hoped that since the matter was now sub judice, the government and Delhi Police will not release the juvenile offender today, as was scheduled.

The juvenile was moved out of Delhi yesterday even as the parents of the victim have strongly opposed his release. The parents were briefly detained by police after they held a protest against the convict's release.

Terming the High Court's refusal to stay the release of the juvenile convict as a "dark day" in the history of the country, Maliwal had shot off letters to, among others, President Pranab Mukherjee and the Chief Justice of India. 

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