Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

Kathua Case: Accused Who Claimed To Be Juvenile Is Aged Above 20, Says Medical Report

The medical report of an accused in the Kathua rape and murder case who had claimed to be a juvenile was submitted before the district and sessions court here today by the Jammu and Kashmir police's crime branch in which his age was stated to be more than 20 years, special public prosecutor J K Chopra said.

The court hearing, which resumed after the summer break, could begin only after lunch.

District and Sessions Judge Tajwinder Singh had issued directions to the crime branch to conduct a bone ossification test to ascertain the age of Parvesh Kumar alias 'Mannu', one of the eight accused in the brutal rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir in January.

"The report has been submitted and final arguments on it will be concluded tomorrow after which the judge will pronounce his verdict," Chopra said.

Asked what was the opinion of the doctors about the accused's age, Chopra said, "According to it (medical opinion), his age is stated to be 20 plus."

The court had ordered the test after the defence counsel moved an application in the first week of June, requesting to treat him as a minor citing his matriculation certificate.

The crime branch had constituted a team of doctors, comprising medicos from various streams including the radiology department, and the accused was examined on June 22 and 23.

The court had directed Senior Superintendent of Police R K Jalla to supervise the medical examination and submit the report when the court reopens after a 16-day summer break.

While seven of the accused including Kumar are facing trial in the court here on the directions of the Supreme Court, the eighth accused in the case is facing trial in a juvenile court in Kathua district.

The defence counsel today filed a separate application before the district and sessions court claiming that Kumar had allegedly been subjected to torture on June 23 by the crime branch, a charge denied by the police officials who said it will be contested it in the court.

The petition claimed that the crime branch had been persuading Kumar to turn an approver in the case.

However, police officials maintained that there was no move for making anyone approver in the case.