Srinagar: The Court of Principal Sessions Judge Kulgam presided over by Tahir Khurshid Raina Wednesday set aside the order of a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), which had granted bail to a juvenile accused of committing murder.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by the father of the deceased that sought setting aside of the JJB bail order.
The court observed that as per the Police report, the juvenile was above 16 years on the day of alleged occurrence.
It observed that he along with another juvenile had allegedly committed a heinous offence of murder of a young man who happened to be father of two minor kids.
“The JJ Board did not take any step to know of the physical and mental faculties of the delinquent child in compliance to Section 15 of the Act, which as per the information of this court has not been done so far even for the purpose of shifting of trial, which ought to have been done within three months from the date of first production of any such child before the board,” the court said. “It sufficiently speaks of the working of the board and its casual attitude adopted while granting bail to the respondents in a heinous offence.”
The court observed that neither the exceptions as put in Section 12 of the act for denial of bail to the juvenile had been properly appreciated by the board nor the requirements of Section 15 had been complied with.
“The net result is that the order impugned does not sustain on both counts on the touchstone of mandate of Section 12 and 15 of the JJ Act, 2015. Accordingly, it is set aside. The bail bonds furnished by the father of the respondent (juvenile) are hereby cancelled and he is directed to produce the respondent before the board on 13 September 2021,” the court said.
It said that undisputedly an exception of “heinous offence” alleged to be committed by the juvenile of 16 years of age and upto 18 years with mature mental faculty has been carved out in the JJ Act of 2015.
It said that earlier JJ Act of 2000 was not carrying any such exception in the age of juvenile which was upto the age of 18 years.
“This exception of 16-18 years was created after the shameful happening of Nirbaya case in the capital city of the country which shook the conscious of the country as a whole,” it said.
It said that one of the accused in the Nibaya case claimed to be juvenile and escaped the adequate punishment only on account of juvenility though he was mentally and physically mature.
“Therefore, on the basis of appreciation of order impugned and the record of the case called from JJB it cannot be said that the JJ Board has acted in accordance with the provisions of the act while granting bail to the respondents who are alleged to have committed murder of a young boy. The legal and moral conscience of this court is not satisfied with the legality, propriety and correctness of the order impugned,” the court said.