Sumbal Rape: Court may constitute Medical Board as defence prays for juvenility of accused

The defense counsel representing the accused in Sumbal minor’s alleged rape has prayed for the juvenility of the accused before the court of Principal District and Session Judge Bandipora on Saturday.

The application was moved by Advocate Shuaib Dewani and Advocate Shafeeq Ahmad Bhat, representing the accused in the case, before the court of Principal District and Sessions Judge (Special Judge) Bandipora.

The case was listed today for the first hearing and the defense counsel moved the application in terms of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2013, Rules, 2014.

“Application in terms of section 8 read with rule 74 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2013, Rules 2014 seeking declaration to the effect that accused is a juvenile,” reads the application.

The application further reads: “The aforementioned case is sub-judice before this hon’ble court and is listed today on 01.06.2019. Challan has been presented against the alleged accused under offenses 363, 342, 376-A, B RFC & 5M/6 POCSO Act and the charge sheet is yet to be framed against the alleged accused and the alleged accused is a juvenile as his Date of Birth recorded in the school namely Islamic Educational Trust J&K, Branch Trigam Sumbal, first attended by juvenile alleged accused is 23.07.2009, therefore at the time of the alleged occurrence, age of the accused was 09 years 09 Months and 15 days.”

“Owing to aforementioned facts, an inquiry deserves to be initiated in terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act, 2013 and Rules, 2014 made thereunder for determining the age of the juvenile at the time of the alleged occurrence,” it reads.

It also reads: “The applicant submits that his son, the accused, is a juvenile and has been wrongly treated as major by the investigating agency, when the applicant even at the time of remand of the juvenile/accused had raised the plea of juvenility and even at that time no inquiry whatsoever was conducted in determining the age of the accused. The other points will be taken up at the time of arguments.”

The application reads that in these premises it is prayed that the accused/juvenile may be declared as a juvenile in terms of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act and Rules made thereunder, and the same would be in consonance of law and justice.

The court has directed the State to file a response if any to the application moved by the defense counsel on June 07 when the case has been listed for the next hearing.

An official said that the court will examine the school records after the state files the response to the application moved by the defense for declaring the accused as a juvenile.

“If the accused does not have any school records then the court may direct for the constitution of the medical board which will determine the actual age of the accused.

On May 08, a minor girl was allegedly raped by her neighbor and the incident led to widespread protests across the Kashmir valley. The protesters clashed with the security forces in which one youth was killed in Pattan area of north Kashmir.

On May 25, Jammu and Kashmir police filed an 87-page charge sheet against the accused in the court and the case was listed for first hearing today.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority has also released Rs 1 lakh as interim relief to the minor rape victim under Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013.