Kathua rape & murder: SC orders accused Shubam Sangra to be tried as adult

The trial court in Pathankot had convicted 6 out of the 7 accused in the case and acquitted one, giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Supreme Court of India [Representational Image]
Supreme Court of India [Representational Image] File: ANI

Srinagar, Nov 16: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that Shubham Sangra, one of the accused in the 2018 rape and murder of a minor nomadic girl in Kathua area of Jammu and Kashmir, be tried as adult and not a juvenile.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and JB Pardiwala ruled that medical evidence proved that the accused had attained18 years of age at the time of commission of offence and medical opinion will be considered as conclusive evidence in the absence of any other proof, reported Bar and Bench.

"Medical opinion regarding age in absence of any other conclusive evidence should be considered to determine the age range of the accused. hether medical evidence can be relied upon or not depends on value of evidence. Thus, order passed by CJM Kathua is set aside and thus the accused is held not to be a juvenile at the time of crime," the Court said.

As per the report, the judgment was passed on an appeal filed by the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir against an order delivered in this regard by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The High Court had affirmed an order of the trial court which found the main accused to be a juvenile.

An eight-year-old girl child belonging to the nomadic Bakerwal community was found dead after being raped on 17 January 2018. The trial was transferred to Pathankot by the Supreme Court in view of sensitivity of the case.

The trial court in Pathankot had convicted 6 out of the 7 accused in the case and acquitted one, giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Sangra was being tried before JJB when the Supreme Court had stayed those proceedings in February 2020 after J&K moved the present plea.

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