Court declares accused as adult in Kathua case

Court declares accused as adult in Kathua case
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Pathankot: The Pathankot district and sessions court has accepted a medical report of an accused, who claimed to be a juvenile, in the Kathua rape-and-murder case, The report has ascertained his age to be more than 20 years, Special Public Prosecutor JK Chopra said on Thursday.
Rejecting the plea of the defence counsel, district and sessions judge Tajwinder Singh said the accused, Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, will be treated as an adult, the lawyer said.
Chopra said the court declined Kumar’s application and declared the accused as a “major”.
Kumar’s counsel AK Sawhney told reporters outside the court that they would be challenging the verdict in the Supreme Court soon.
The medical report was submitted before the court earlier this week by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch.
The district and sessions judge had issued directions to the crime branch to conduct a bone ossification test to ascertain the age of Kumar, one of the eight accused in the brutal rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua district.
Asked what was the opinion of the doctors about the age of the accused, Chopra said, “According to it (the medical opinion), his age is stated to be 20 plus.”
The fate of another accused, who has claimed to be a juvenile, is yet to be decided as the matter is pending before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The crime branch has moved an application urging the HC to treat the accused as an adult based on his medical reports.
The Pathankot court had ordered the bone ossification test after the defence counsel moved an application in the first week of June requesting to treat Kumar as a minor, citing his matriculation certificate.
The crime branch constituted a team of doctors, comprising medicos from various streams including the radiology department, and the accused was examined on June 22 and 23.
The court had directed Senior Superintendent of Police RK Jalla to supervise the medical examination and submit the report when the court reopens after a 16-day summer break.
While seven of the accused, including Kumar, are facing trial in the court here on the directions of the Supreme Court, the eighth accused in the case is facing trial in a juvenile court in Kathua district.