A youth who was 16 years old when he was accused of killing his seven-year-old schoolmate at a private school here in September 2017 will be tried as an adult in the sensational murder case, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) said on Monday, sticking to its earlier ruling.
The Supreme Court had in July this year upheld the October 11, 2018 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the juvenile be examined afresh to ascertain whether he should be tried as an adult or not for the alleged crime.
The high court had set aside a lower court order which had in May 2018 upheld the JJB’s earlier decision that the juvenile should be tried as an adult.
“Today Principal Magistrate Jatin Gujral of Juvenile Justice Board, Gurugram pronounced his verdict after a fresh re-assessment of the accused and directed that he shall be tried as an adult,” said Sushil Tekriwal, counsel for the victim.
“We welcome the court order and will continue to fight for justice for Prince. A strong and clear message must go that the law of land will prevail and such a crime should never be repeated. The law must be a deterrent”, he said.
All parties have been informed of the fresh order of the JJB, sources said.
The board will provide a copy of the order to all the parties in a day or two. The accused will now be produced in the court of district and sessions judge on October 31.
The CBI had taken up the case from the district police on September 22, 2017 following massive uproar over the gruesome killing.
The agency, in a charge sheet, had alleged that the accused, a Class 11 student at that time, had murdered the child in a bid to get the examinations postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled.
The victim’s body, with the throat slit, was found in the washroom of the school in the Bhondsi area here.
The counsel for the accused had challenged the JJB’s earlier order in the sessions court, saying it was “bad in law” and passed without giving him a proper opportunity to present his case.
The court had barred the media from using the name of the juvenile accused in the case and asked it to use fictitious names instead.
While the seven-year-old victim was referred to as “Prince” by the court, the juvenile accused was called “Bholu” and the school was referred to as “Vidyalaya”.
The probe agency had earlier given a clean chit to school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurugram Police, saying there was no evidence to prove his involvement in the crime.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)