Kathua rape case: Juvenile accused to be tried as adult

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], July 5 (ANI): The Pathankot district and sessions court on Thursday ordered that an accused in the Kathua rape case, who claimed to be a juvenile, will be tried as an adult. However, a lawyer appearing on behalf of the accused said his party would appeal against the sessions court's order in the High Court. "On the basis of the documents that were relied upon by the Crime Branch itself, we had filed an application seeking a declaration from the court that one of the accused namely Parvesh Kumar alias Manu is a juvenile. However, the sessions court dismissed our application on the basis of the ossification report today," Ankur Sharma, lawyer of the accused, told ANI. He further argued that the ruling was wrong, as it did not take into consideration rule 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, which says that only in the absence of a matriculation certificate, an ossification test can be conducted. "The matriculation certificate is the biggest proof of somebody's age. According to that certificate, he (of the accused) was a month and 8-10 days less than 18 years of age. In the ossification report, the age was shown to be between 20-21 years," he added. District and Sessions Judge Tajwinder Singh had issued directions to the Crime Branch to conduct a bone ossification test to ascertain the age of one of the eight accused in the case. The eight-year-old girl, belonging to a nomadic Muslim tribe, was abducted, drugged, gang-raped, tortured and killed in January. (ANI)
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