The Uttarakhand High Court has dismissed the bail petition of a minor (16 year-old). The petition challenged the order passed by the Juvenile Justice Board. The minor had used his position as a minor and Articles 37 and 40 of the (International) Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), referring to children in conflict with the law.
As per those internationally accepted articles, children (under 18) “have the right to treatment that promotes their sense of dignity and worth, takes into account their age and aims at their reintegration into society. Also, placing children in conflict with the law in a closed facility should be a measure of last resort, to be avoided whenever possible…” This is the UNICEF’s position that was used by the minor in his application.
The high court noted that the magistrate at the Juvenile Justice Board had observed that if the minor was released on bail, it would further deteriorate him psychologically. The magistrate had also observed that the alleged act committed by the minor reflects his bad mental state and an urge for revenge.
The minor had been arrested under pretty serious sections of 307, 342, 436 IPC in Roorkee, in the Haridwar district. On February 13, the minor’s bail application had been rejected and this order was confirmed when it had gone to appeal.
The minor was unhappy with the order (rejection of bail plea) of the trial court and had moved the high court. Here, again, the basis was ‘children in conflict with the law’ and section 12 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Section 12 (1) says: “When any person accused of a bailable or non-bailable offence, and apparently a juvenile, is arrested or detained or appears or is brought before a Board, such person shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or in any other law for the time being in force, be released on bail with or without surety [or placed under the supervision of a Probation Officer or under the care of any fit institution of fit person]…”
That was the premise of the plea. However, the second part of the same section 12 (1) says: “… but he shall not be so released if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that the release is likely to bring him into association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger or that his release would defeat the ends of justice.”
That, says law, would defeat the very purpose of justice.
The magistrate had said that in his order.
The boy had been following a youngster of a school to his house. When a scared youngster had objected, he had threatened to kill him. He had not stopped at that. The boy had informed the police. One night accused had set the house of the informant ablaze and had bolted the main gate from outside. The informant had seen him and another person sprinkling petrol on the house. CCTV footages had confirmed this.
The magistrate noted that on the date of incident, the accused was 17 years, 7 months and 19 days old. Also, it was not a single act. It was a sequence.
The high court said that “this court is of the view that the learned courts below did not commit any error in not enlarging (not letting go) the revisionist (accused minor) on bail.
Read the order here;
-India Legal Bureau
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