New Delhi: In a post-midnight order, the Supreme Court declined to stay the release of the juvenile offender in the horrific December 16 gangrape case that will enable him to walk free.
In their order pronounced at 2 AM, a vacation bench comprising Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit refused the dramatic post-midnight move of the Delhi Commission for Women to stay his release by giving an urgent hearing and posted the matter for hearing on Monday.
DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal and the lawyers of the women's panel hoped that since the matter has become sub judice, the government and Delhi Police will not release the juvenile offender.
"The matter has been posted for hearing on Monday as item number 3. The matter has now become sub judice. I hope that government and the Delhi Police will wait for one day and not release him," Maliwal told reporters outside the residence of Justice Goel.
The Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court, which refused to restrain the release of the convict, was referred by the Chief Justice of India T S Thakur before the vacation bench.
Lawyers associated with the case, including senior advocate Guru Krishna Kumar and Devdutt Kamath, had rushed to Justice Goel's residence at around 1.30 AM after Maliwal was told by the Registrar that the matter has been assigned to the vacation bench.
The grounds which has been taken in the appeal against the High Court order says that no mental assessment of the state of mind of the juvenile offender has been taken into account for his release.
Advocate Kamath said that there are intelligence reports that even during his stay in the provision home, the convict was unremorseful of his action and he has been further radicalised. So at this stage, it cannot be said that he is not a threat to the society.
The SLP has also stated that though the High Court was of the view that there was a need for mental assessment of the convict, there was no direction that before his release the authorities should go for a health and mental assessment of the offender.
The juvenile convict was moved out of Delhi yesterday even as distraught parents of the victim were detained today after they held a protest against allowing him to walk free.
The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life.