Delhi gang rape: portrayal of juvenile as most brutal media hype, says CJI

Ravinder Vasudeva

Patiala, Feb. 2 -- Putting question on the stories that "the most brutal accused in Delhi gang rape case was a juvenile", Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir on Saturday said these reports were merely the "hype" created by the media.

"Till know, nobody knows what had exactly happened in the case. How can you say that the minor was the most brutal? Stories terming the juvenile accused as the most brutal were only media hype. It was what people say about the incidence," the CJI told reporters on Saturday in Patiala when specifically asked the theories coming up in the case.

He was in Sidhuwal village of Patiala to participate as chief guest on the first convocation of Rajiv Gandhi National Law University (RGNLU).

When specifically asked about the "minor" accused in the case expected to get the benefit of his minor status during pronouncement of punishment as he will now be tried under the Juvenile Justice laws, the CJI said it has to be decided by rule of law.

"Whatever provisions and rules we have to trial juvenile accused would be applied. If any accused in Delhi gang rape or in any other case was minor, he will have to be tried as per law provisions of the country only," he said while replying to a query over the debate running in the country that in serious cases adults to be treated as major.

Justice Altamas Kabir, who in his previous statements had desired to participate in the protests that occurred after Delhi gangrape case, also justified the people's anger over the issue.

"What I desired was my anguish. It was not the case of only an ordinary girl. This movement was necessary to wake up the people who before this were deep slumber. The movement has wake up people and it was much needed," said the 39th CJI of the country.

The CJI said the experiment of bringing case of harassment or rape against women in fast track courts, after Delhi gang rape, has proved a great success and has helped in providing timely justice.

"Apart from crime against women, we were planning to bring fast track courts pertaining to the cases related to other issues as well. Like, in Supreme Court of India, we introduced fast track courts to address those old cases which don't have any value but they are still existing on papers. In last two weeks, we have wind up 400 such cases by settling two different courts for criminal and civic cases," he said.

In his speech in the convocation, the CJI asked the lawyers to respect the court and never deceive it.

"In many cases, lawyers deceive the courts and misguide them. This was the worst thing a lawyer can do. They must respect the dignity of the court," he said.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.