Retention period of the juvenile involved in the Nirbhaya gang rape case cannot be extended

Delhi High Court: In the matter relating to the release of the Juvenile involved in the ghastly Nirbhaya gang rape case which sent shock waves across the globe, the Delhi High Court held that the release of the juvenile after the completion of the 3 years retention period as provided in Section 15(1)(g) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 cannot be interfered with as the Court could not extend stay beyond this period as an interim measure.

Extension of the retention period was sought on the ground that juvenile could not be released without ascertaining factum of reformation that was necessary for his social integration. The bench of G. Rohini, CJ and Jayant Nath, J held that the plea for extention of retention period cannot be extended as the Juvenile has to be released on completion of 3 years.

Regarding the legal issue raised in the main writ petition, i.e., the need for ascertaining the factum of reformation of the juveniles in conflict with law before they are released from the Special Home on expiry of the period of stay ordered by the Juvenile Justice Board, the Court was of the view that this issue is a larger issue of public importance which requires deeper consideration. Listing the matter for 28.03.2016, the Court said that Department of Women and Child Development should also be impleaded as respondent in order to have wider view on this issue. [Dr. Subramanian Swamy v. Raju through Juvenile Justice Board, decided on 18.12.2015]

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