A juvenile court ruled on Monday that a suspect in the fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi last month was a juvenile at the time of the attack.
A lawyer present in the court said a magistrate announced the decision after going over documents presented to the court by officials of the suspect’s elementary school that indicated that he was under 18 years of age at the time of the December 16 attack.
The lawyer could not be named because he was not authorised to brief media. The lawyer said that his school documents showed him to be about six months short of his 18th birthday at the time of the attack.
The suspect, who is not being identified because of his age, could face three years in a reform facility if he is convicted as a juvenile. A conviction as an adult could have led to his execution.
Meanwhile, a fast-track court was separately hearing arguments on Monday in the trial of five men charged with attacking the woman and a male friend on a bus as it was driven through the streets of India’s capital.
The woman was raped and assaulted with a metal bar and eventually died of her injuries.