Hyderabad: Telangana High Court on Tuesday set aside an order of POCSO Court for treating one of the minor accused in Jubilee Hills gang rape case as major.
On a petition filed by one of the minor accused challenging the POCSO Court order, the High Court delivered its judgment.
With the High Court’s order, the sensational case will now be tried with four accused as majors and two accused as minors.
In September last year, the lower court had ruled that four of the five minors involved in the case can be tried as majors in view of the graveness of the crime.
Six accused including a major were arrested in June last year for the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl in a car in posh Jubilee Hills neighbourhood of Hyderabad.
The accused had trapped the victim after a daytime party at a bar and after offering a lift sexually assaulted her.
The crime was committed on May 28 but came to light only on May 31 after the victim’s father lodged a complaint with the police. The case had triggered national outrage.
Five accused including son of a leader of ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (TRS) have been charged with gang rape while sixth accused, who is son of a legislator of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), is facing molestation charges.
Saduddin Malik and four minors were booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 D (gang rape), 323 (causing hurt), Section 5 (G) (gang penetrative sexual assault on child) read with Section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 366 (kidnapping a woman) and 366 A (procuration of a minor girl) and Section 67 of Information Technology Act.
The sixth minor was not involved in rape but he kissed the victim in the car. He was booked under IPC Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 and Section 9 (G) read with 10 of POCSO Act.
On June 28, police filed a charge sheet both in Nampally Criminal Court and Juvenile Justice Board as five of the six accused in the case were minors.
The police, however, made a plea to the Juvenile Justice Board to allow the minors to be treated as majors for trial in view of the serious nature of the offence. In September, the Board gave its nod and later the POCSO Court also ruled in its favour.
All the accused are currently on bail.