FIle photo: Protests after gang-rape of 23-year-old of medical student in Delhi
The first verdict in December's barbarous gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old medial student is likely to be delivered on August 31, with the Supreme Court today clearing the way for the ruling.
Today's verdict means that a juvenile court in Delhi can deliver its judgement on whether a suspect who was 17 at the time of the alleged crime is guilty of the gang-rape and murder. He is being tried by the Juvenile Justice Board which has deferred its decision because of a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the Supreme Court.
Mr Swamy says that the "mental and intellectual maturity" of minor offenders must be considered while fixing their culpability.
In addition to the juvenile, five adults were arrested after the gang-rape. One of them, the alleged gang-leader, committed suicide in jail in March. The four others are being tried at a fast-track court.
If he is convicted, he faces a maximum of three years in a reform home.