Dilip Kumar

Nayagarh: In a fresh twist to the sensational case involving the abduction and murder of a five-year-old girl at Jadupur in Nayagarh, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Wednesday transferred the case to the Children's Court for regular hearing as the accused has been found to be between 16 and 18 years old.

The transfer of the case from one court to another was facilitated as per the provisions under Section 15 (3) of the Juvenile Justice Act. The case has been listed for hearing at the Children’s Court on February 5, sources in the court said.

"Based on the report of the preliminary assessment of social background and history of the child accused, the JJB has shifted the case to the Children's Court for hearing. Henceforth, all petitions pertaining to the case will be heard there,” said Chandra Bijayee Mishra, lawyer for the accused.

Following the transfer of the case, the minor accused was produced before the Children's Court.

Meanwhile, SIT counsel Bishnu Prasad Mohapatra said that the investigating agencie’s application seeking Lower Voice Analysis (LVA) test of the accused and other pleas will be heard in the Children's Court.

"The Juvenile Justice Board decided that the Children’s Court is appropriate to take over the cases involving heinous offences which attract at least seven years of jail term," Mohapatra added.

Earlier in the day, the child accused was brought to Nayagarh from the Juvenile home at Angul and produced before the JJB amid tight security today.

On January 5, the special POCSO court which was hearing the case had termed the accused as a minor and referred the case to the Juvenile Justice Board. Based on the birth and matriculation certificates, the POCSO court had pointed out that the accused had not attained the age of 18 when the crime took place. The court had also rejected the SIT plea seeking narco-analysis test on the accused.

The Juvenile Justice Board had also rejected the SIT application seeking brain mapping test of the accused.

On December 20, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Odisha Crime Branch led by IPS Officer Arun Bothra had arrested the accused after registering a case under section 376-A, 376-AB, 364, 302, 201 r/w Section 6 of POCSO Act.