Supreme Court today dismissed the appeal filed by Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal challenging the release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case.
"We share your concern but we have no legislative backing to pass the orders. The detention cannot go beyond 3 years," the apex court vacation bench comprising Justice A.K. Goel and Justice U.U. Lalit said, while dismissing the plea by the DCW.
"This is a black day for the entire country, its time for the women of the country to take up torches rather than candles," said Swati Maliwal.
Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi said she is not surprised and knew that this would happen. She also said that the "Juvenile was just one of the 5 accused and 4 other cases are still pending in the Supreme Court. I appeal to bring that to conclusion". Hours before the juvenile's release from an observation home on completion of his three year term at Majnu Ka Tila, Maliwal moved the Supreme Court at 1.15am on Saturday in a last-ditch effort to try and stall the release.
Questioning the high court's refusal to stay the release, Maliwal said in the petition that while the government and courts are bound by the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, it is necessary to assess the mental condition of the youth in the larger public interest before his release as he is viewed as a threat to society.
"In light of the particularly heinous nature of the crime executed by this boy, the DCW requests your hon'ble self to kindly intervene in the matter and ensure that the boy be kept in the observation home at least until his mental frame of mind and reformation is properly ascertained," the DCW chief said in the petition.
The petition said the juvenile, who still had no remorse could not be let free till an independent body ascertain his mental state given his criminal bent of mind. The central government had supported the plea. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain had informed the court that the "post-release rehabilitation plan" submitted by the Delhi government was "vague" and did not give observations about the juvenile's mental state.