One of the men accused of the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedic student in New Delhi is now being tried as a juvenile.
This came as the Juvenile Justice Board yesterday accepted the date of birth as mentioned in his school records as he did not have a birth certificate. This is common in India as many people are not born at a hospital.
The juvenile was reportedly the most vicious of those who fatally attacked the woman.
The promising student suffered massive internal injuries during the assault on the bus in which she was raped and violated with an iron bar. She died 13 days later after the government airlifted her to a Singapore hospital in a last-ditch bid to save her life.
The victim's parents had been among those calling for the juvenile to be tried alongside the five other accused of the premeditated rape and killing.
They could face the death penalty if found guilty, however the juvenile will face a maximum term of three years in a reform facility if convicted.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told the Indian Express the police were taking legal opinion on appealing against the order.
The family of the gang rape victim said they were shocked. "How can this man be allowed to walk away like this after what he did? We have spoken to the police authorities... the police must go in for an appeal, and I will be there to attend the proceedings myself," her 20-year-old brother said.
He added that his sister had told their mother that the "minor" had abused and beaten her the most.
"Nobody else verbally abused her or hit her as much as him."
December 16: Victim gang-raped, beaten on New Delhi bus
December 20: Protests against the incident spread
December 26: Victim flown to Singapore
December 29: Victim dies in Singapore
January 2: Five of six suspects charged
January 7: Suspects appear in New Delhi court
January 17: Case sent to fast-track court
January 23: Panel calls for new sexual assault laws
January 24: Opening arguments made
January 28: Sixth suspect to be tried as juvenile