Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], October 1 (ANI): Juvenile Justice Board in Hyderabad pronounced that four of the five children in conflict with the law in the Jubilee Hills gang-rape case could be tried as adults, on Friday.
"Need for the trial of CCL (children in conflict with law) 1 to 4 as an adult," stated the Principal Magistrate of Juvenile Justice Board in its order on Friday.
All the underaged accused are from affluent and influential families, with strong connections to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). One of them is the son of an AIMIM MLA, while another is the son of the Telangana Waqf Board chairman.
According to sources, the board evaluated the condition and abilities of the CCLs with assistance from a professor of psychiatry from the Institute of Mental Health in Hyderabad. The psychiatrist, the board member and the magistrate also interacted separately with each CCL. This was done to assess their mental and physical capacity to commit the offences, their ability to understand the consequences, and the circumstances in which they allegedly committed the offences.
In the assessment order, under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, the magistrate observed that the CCLs hail from financially well-to-do families and have cordial relationships with family members.
"The CCLs have no physical and mental disability and do not have any traumatic experiences in the past. There is no neglect by families. The boys have good intelligence levels, a fair thought process and are aware of general and social issues. They do not have the habit of consuming alcohol or other substances and are capable of understanding the consequences of their actions," the magistrate stated.
The case is of an underaged girl being lured into a luxury car and being sexually assaulted by six boys--one of them over 18 years old, and the other five between 16 and 18 years of age. The girl had gone to a party in the afternoon at an upmarket pub in Jubilee Hills, where she was trapped by the accused.
The crime that occurred on May 28 shocked the nation and the accused were apprehended after public outcry and continued media focus. The Bharatiya Janata Party had even accused the TRS government of trying to hush up the case.
Refuting the charges and revealing the details of the crime after the accused were arrested in early June, Hyderabad Police Commissioner C V Anand had said that the accused could face life imprisonment until death, or a jail sentence of no less than 20 years for their crime.
The police later appealed to the Juvenile Justice Board that the offenders be tried as adults, citing the seriousness of the crime. The five CCLs, lodged in a juvenile home for over a month, have been out on bail since the last week of July. (ANI)