New Delhi: Narbhaya's parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi  at a programme to observe the third anniversary of Nirbhaya gang-rape case as 'Nirbhaya Chetna Divas' at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh  (PTI12_16_2015_000271B)
New Delhi: Narbhaya's parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi at a programme to observe the third anniversary of Nirbhaya gang-rape case as 'Nirbhaya Chetna Divas' at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Kamal Singh (PTI12_16_2015_000271B)

Her assailant, the most brutal one, is set to walk free on Sunday after 3 years in probation home , A bill that proposed to punish criminals between 16 and 18 as adults in serious crimes has not been taken up in Parliament, where the Rajya Sabha has barely run this winter session.

New Delhi : The juvenile convict in the December 16, 2012, gang rape-cum-murder case will walk free on Sunday after spend-ing three years in a probation home. The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay his release, evoking sharp reactions from victim’s family who said “crime has won and we have lost”. The reaction came immediately after the two-judge bench brushed aside the public outcry against the convict’s release — who has since turned a major — saying that the statutory legal provision did not give the court any leeway in the matter. The rapist, now 21, is likely to be monitored by the Juvenile Justice Board, which will decide on his rehabilitation, “social mainstreaming”, and even whether he should be returned to his family.

“Crime has won and we have lost (jurm jeet gaya, hum haar gaye). Although we haven’t seen him, nor met him, but despite all our efforts, a criminal will walk free,” said a dejected Asha Devi, mother of the victim. The current law on juveniles is ‘soft’ and a bill that proposed to punish criminals between 16 and 18 as adults in serious crimes has not been taken up in Parliament, where the Rajya Sabha has barely run this winter session. But BJP leader Subramanian Swamy — who had filed the plea seeking stay of the release — expressed satisfaction over the court’s order. “He will not be free but remain under the supervision and control of the Management Committee till he is proved mentally sound. It is not a release. “For me the issue was whether he will be allowed to roam as a free man or not. The answer is no. Now he will be under the control of the management committee of the Juvenile Justice Board,” Swamy said.

Swamy also explained that the juvenile will have to satisfy the management committee that he is mentally sound. “…For that rules provide for a two year period during which the management committee can keep him in their control. We will rewrite this rule within that period,” he said, adding that until the juvenile proves himself to be mentally sound, he will not be a free man. The victim’s father, however, said the order should have had a deterrent effect but he did not indicate any plan to move the Supreme Court for now. “The order must serve as a deterrent, so that no one commits this kind of a crime in future,” he said while maintaining that the existing law needed a change. Centre’s standing counsel Anil Soni passed the buck to the Rajya Sabha saying the failure to pass the amendment Bill has led to the release of the juvenile, who according to the police report was the most brutal of all the convicts.

Soni said the court was of the view that the issue of reformation of a juvenile in conflict with law required deeper consideration. The High Court has sought response of the Centre and Delhi government on the issue within eight weeks. Six persons, including the juvenile, had brutally assaulted and raped the 23-year-old paramedic in a moving bus in south Delhi. The victim had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012. Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by the trial court in the case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court.

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