New Delhi: An application by a father 14 years ago to register the birth of his three children is the centrepiece of the Jammu and Kashmir police's plea that the juvenile accused in the horrific rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, be tried as an adult.
The state crime branch has attached what it claims is the father's application in its petition before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, asking for the accused to be tried as an adult, people familiar with the matter said. The father's application for registering the birth of his three kids has glaring mistakes, they said.
The eight-year-old girl, kidnapped by a group to drive out her Bakerwal community in January, was kept sedated and gang-raped repeatedly for days before her head was bashed in.
A report by medical experts has determined the age of the accused, who claims to be a juvenile, as not less than 19 and not more than 23, news agency Press Trust of India reported. The medical report has also been attached with the crime branch's petition to the high court, which will hear the matter on June 6.
According to the crime branch's petition, the application filed by the father in the tehsildar's office in Hiranagar in Jammu on April 15, 2004 makes for "interesting" reading and has "imaginary" entries.
The father had asked for a birth certificate for his eldest, a boy, whose date of birth is said to be November 23, 1997; his daughter, said to be born on February 21, 1998, and the youngest, the Kathua case accused, on October 23, 2002, the application says.
A "perusal" of the date of birth of the two elder children reveals a difference of two months and 28 days, "which by any medical standard is impossible", it says. It indicates the father did not give true information, the crime branch said.
While no place of birth has been mentioned for the older two children, the juvenile is said to be born at a Hiranagar hospital.
A special investigation team sent a questionnaire to the block medical officer of Hiranagar and asked for records of the accused's birth, along with details of the parents.
The block medical officer, however, said that hospital records show no delivery in the name of the accused's mother had taken place on October 23, 2002. All the documents have been attached with the crime branch's petition.
"...in fact these entries were imaginary, and without any supporting birth record of either Municipal Committee or Primary Health Centre where the birth of the respondent (juvenile) is stated to have taken place," the affidavit submitted by the police stated.
It also contains findings of the medical board that found inconsistencies in the age of the juvenile, whose case is being heard by the juvenile board in Kathua.
The other seven accused are being tried in a court in Pathankot, after the Supreme Court ordered the case to be shifted out of Jammu. Sanji Ram is accused No. 2. The former government official allegedly planned the depraved crime and even kept side a huge amount of money for bribes. He was arrested after the juvenile's confession, forensic tests and based on the interrogation of various suspects.