New Delhi: A 17-year-old who was apprehended for allegedly murdering an elderly woman in Delhi this week, may be tried as an adult under a new law passed by Parliament in December.
If the juvenile justice board agrees, the teen, who has allegedly killed twice in the last six months, will be the first to be tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Of Children) Act of 2015. The new law allows people between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults for serious crimes like murder.
The juvenile was accused of kidnapping and killing a 13-year-old boy in September and was sent to a correction home, which released him after two months for good behaviour. On Monday, allege the police, he strangled 65-year-old Mithilesh Jain in her south Delhi home and fled with cash, jewelry and mobile phones.
The police said they traced him when he switched on one of the phones that he had allegedly stolen from Mrs Jain. He was apprehended from his residence in Faridabad, near Delhi, on Thursday.
On being questioned, the 17-year-old, a professional dancer, allegedly told the police that he had killed the woman for money to participate in a reality dance show.
It was for money to participate in the dance show that the teen had also allegedly killed Swapnesh Gupta, 13, last year. The Delhi Police said the juvenile and his girlfriend, also 17, had kidnapped the boy and taken him to Ranikhet in Uttarakhand, where they allegedly strangled him with a belt and threw his body down a cliff.
The new juvenile law has been challenged in the Supreme Court by Congress leader and activist Tahseen Poonawalla, who has pleaded that it is “draconian and unconstitutional.”