17 Year Boy was found to be mature enough to understand the consequences of his act.
In one of the first case of its kind, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in National Capital Delhi has ordered that the teenager who is alleged to have ran over a 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma, a Marketing Executive, while driving Mercedes of his father can be tried as an Adult Accused.
The JJB gave its finding on Saturday, that the offence complained to have been committed by the Juvenile is “Heinous”in the eyes of Law. The circumstances show the Juvenile was definitely “mature enough” to clearly understand the serious consequences of his alleged act. He was also Mature enough to think about the ways to escape from legal punishment for this offence. The incident had taken place in north part of Delhi in Civil Lines area on April 4 this Year.
The board did not find any strength in the defence’s claim that no offence under section 304 IPC which is culpable homicide not amounting to murder and which entails a maximum punishment of 10 years’ imprisonment is not made out.
The order acquires significance because according to Section 2(33) of the newly promulgated JJ Act, the legal term”heinous offences” means the offences with minimum imprisonment for seven years or more.
In this five-page order, JJB observed that section 304 IPC has been “rightly invoked” by the Police against the Juvenile. As a minor, the boy could get only three years at a reform home.
Board arrived at this decision only after examining the 17 year old boy’s both the physical and mental ability and upon hearing lengthy arguments of both sides.
But in a first case in the country in which a minor Juvenile would be tried as an adult under new juvenile justice law legislated this year itself, he can under this law be sentenced to upto 10 years in Jail, if convicted.
This decision has opened the debate all over again. Child Right activists have been opposing the new JJ Act since it was conceived. It has been apprehended that the new harsher Law will have no impact on Juvenile Crimes and would be misused for wrong reasons.
While family of the Victim and Police has welcomed the decision some experts feel the matter needed to be handled with more sensitivity. Justice SN Dhingra Retd. from Delhi High Court hailed the decision as a step in right direction to contain Juvenile Crime.
Justice Madan B Lokur had some time ago expressed that the added JJ Act provision of assessment of whether a child should be tried as an adult needs to be discussed thoroughly and threadbare since it will have long-term implications.
Justice observed,“If the legal system puts a delinquent child who does not deserve to be sent to the adult criminal justice system, the child will be in great trouble.”
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