Jubilee Hills gang rape: Juvenile Justice Board gives nod to try 4 of 5 minor accused as adults

The police said that the beginning of the trial depends on whether the accused appeal to the court to overturn the JJB's decision.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Sep 30, 2022 | 9:51 PM Updated Sep 30, 2022 | 9:52 PM

According to the 2015 amendment of the Juveniles Justice Act, juveniles charged with heinous crimes between 16 and 18 years old can be tried as adults.

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Friday, 30 September, allowed four of the five minor accused in the high-profile Jubilee Hills gangrape case to be tried as adults, whereas the fifth accused, the son of an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA, will be tried as a juvenile.

This comes after the Hyderabad City Police, earlier this month, filed a petition with the board to try the minor accused — said to be in conflict with the law (CCLs) — as adults due to the grievous nature of the crime.

“It is correct that we sent an application to the JJB, but it was not mandatory as even if we would not have they would have taken a suo motu (the act itself) decision,” West Zone DCP Joel Davis told South First.

According to the 2015 amendment of the Juveniles Justice Act, juveniles charged with heinous crimes between 16 and 18 years old can be tried as adults.

The amendment was passed after the juvenile convict in the 2012 Delhi gang rape case was released in 2015 after serving three years in a reform facility.

Option to appeal JJB decision

According to the police, the accused have the option to appeal the JJB’s decision of trying them as adults.

“The four CCLs can appeal the Sessions Court in Lakdikapul. The commencement of the trial will depend on that. If they do not appeal, the trial will start soon,” Davis said.

As per the reports, the police filed the charge sheet in mere two months, with an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) level officer as the Investigating Officer (IO).

The cops are said to be strengthening the case with scientific and technical evidence, including the DNA samples collected from the Toyota Innova car, where the rape allegedly took place.

The clothes of the victim also helped.

Besides this, the police are relying on the statement of the victim to ensure conviction.

‘Clinically planned rape’

On 28 May, the six accused — including 18-ear-old Saddudin Malik — allegedly took the 17-year-old victim from a pub in the Jubilee Hills area and raped her.

Two of the accused are the son and the nephew of an AIMIM MLA, and another is the son of a Telangana politician.

As per the reports, the rape was clinically planned as prima-facie evidence indicated that the accused had condoms.

While the Jubilee Hills police pressed gang rape, POCSO Act, and kidnap charges against the four minor accused, the fifth was charged with sexual assault.

If convicted, the former can face punishment not less than 20 years in prison exceeding to the death penalty, whereas the latter will be sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

Meanwhile, all the six accused in the case are currently out on bail, with the latest being Malik walking out of Chanchalguda jail on 3 August.

It may be noted that cases of crimes against women rose 15 percent in the south Indian states in 2021, with Telangana ranking eighth across the country in the number of such cases registered last year.