The police have got custody of five minor boys involved in the gangrape of a 17-year-old girl at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad on May 28 for the purpose of questioning for five days from Friday.
A Juvenile Justice Board, while giving the permission for custody, directed the police to question the minors in the Juvenile Home itself at Saidabad where they were lodged after arrest. The police will record their statements not in their uniforms but in plainclothes in the presence of lawyers.
In a series of petitions filed before the board since the police intensified investigation into the case, initially the custody of the boys was sought on Tuesday while the parents of the boys moved bail petitions on Wednesday. A petition on test identification parade of the culprits to let the victim identify them was filed on Thursday. Through another petition on Friday, the police will seek the permission of the board to conduct potency test on the five minors and another major boy Saduddin Malik to strengthen their case of rape in the charge sheet.
A senior police officer said the police will also appeal to the board to treat the minors as majors to facilitate strict enforcement of provisions of the IPC which were invoked against them. The idea was to leave no room to dilute the sections for reasons of minority of age. Also, the nature of crime was nothing short of crime committed by adults. Moreover, the minors would have turned majors when the case was pending trial. .
It was argued that an amendment to Juvenile Justice Act in 2015 had approved trying minors as majors during trial. A 17-year-old boy who was accused of committing unnatural sex on a 10-year-old boy at Chandrayangutta in the old city of Hyderabad was treated as a major in 2019.
Meanwhile, the police today took custody of Malik for four-day interrogation. The police seized the cell phones and clothes worn by the accused at the time of offence to build up scientific evidence about the crime at the scene of offence.