The Pathankot district and sessions court has decided to treat one of the juvenile accused in the Kathua case as an adult.

Special Public Prosecutor JK Chopra said the court has accepted a medical report that said the accused was actually more than 20 years old, PTI reported on Thursday. Judge Tajwinder Singh had directed the police to conduct a bone ossification test to ascertain the age of Parvesh Kumar, who is one of eight people accused of murdering an eight-year-old girl after allegedly raping her over several days in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January.

The court had ordered the test after the defence counsel moved an application in the first week of June, requesting that Kumar be treated as a minor. The counsel had cited Kumar’s matriculation certificate to back his claim. The crime branch formed a team of doctors that examined him on June 22 and 23.

On Thursday, Judge Singh rejected the defence’s plea and declared Kumar a “major”. Kumar’s counsel AK Sawhney said they will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

Seven of the accused are being tried at the Pathankot court, the eighth accused is being tried at a juvenile court in Kathua. The police said in the chargesheet that the accused had kidnapped, drugged, gangraped and then killed the girl. The case sparked nationwide protests after two Bharatiya Janata Party ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government attended a rally organised in support of one of the accused.