Kathua gangrape: In a latest update pertaining to the sensational gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that one of the accused was not a juvenile and now can be tried as an adult for the crime.
The top court further stated that in the absence of statutory proof on the same, medical opinions regarding an accused person’s age cannot be “brushed aside.”
“Medical opinion regarding age in absence of any other conclusive evidence should be considered to determine the age range of the accused. Whether medical evidence can be relied upon or not depends on the value of the evidence,” a bench of justices Ajay Rastogi and JB Pardiwala remarked.
It set aside the orders of the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Kathua and the high court which had held that the accused Shubam Sangra was a juvenile and hence to be tried separately.
SC sets aside judgements of high court and CJM Kathua
“We set aside the judgements of the CJM Kathua and the high court and hold that the accused was not a juvenile at the time of the commission of offence,” Justice Pardiwala said while pronouncing the verdict.
The incident took place in 2019
The girl was raped in a Kathua village in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019.
A special court, in June 2019, had sentenced three men to life imprisonment in the case and sentenced three police officers to five-year imprisonment for causing the destruction of evidence. However, the trial against Sangra was shifted to the Juvenile Justice Board.
(With inputs from PTI)
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