Can plead juvenility even after closing disposal of case, says HC

Can plead juvenility even after closing disposal of case, says HC



Tribune Information Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, January 16

In a major judgment on figuring out the age of an accused, the Punjab and Haryana Excessive Court docket has dominated {that a} plea of juvenility may be raised in any court docket at any stage. A Division Bench additionally dominated that the plea may even be raised after the ultimate disposal of the case.

The accused will probably be entitled to the advantage of juvenility, if discovered to be a juvenile, even in circumstances the place the offence was dedicated earlier than the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Safety of Kids) Act, 2000.

The ruling got here because the Bench of Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu and Justice Lalit Batra made it clear that the court docket was obliged to think about the plea of juvenility earlier than granting acceptable reduction to a teen held responsible earlier than being convicted and sentenced in a homicide case over 10 years in the past.

The petitioner had moved the Excessive Court docket searching for an inquiry for figuring out his age as contemplated underneath the Act of 2000, earlier than declaring him a “juvenile in battle with the legislation” within the case registered in October 1995.

Talking for the Bench, Justice Batra asserted that the Act of 2000 got here into power on, and with impact from, April 1, 2001, after repealing the Act of 1986. The petitioner’s trial commenced on November 4, 2011, and he was finally convicted and sentenced by the trial court docket in September 2012. His attraction was dismissed by the Excessive Court docket in October 2013. As such, the Act of 2000, elevating the age of juvenility from 16 to 18 years, was in power. Part 20 of the Act made it clear that the willpower of juvenility was required to be carried out in all pending issues.

Justice Batra noticed: “It’s, thus, effectively settled that by way of Part 20 of the Act, 2000, in all circumstances the place the accused was above 16 years however beneath 18 years of age on the date of prevalence, the proceedings pending within the court docket would proceed and be taken to the logical finish topic to an exception that upon discovering the juvenile to be responsible, the court docket wouldn’t move an order of sentence in opposition to him, however the juvenile could be referred to the Juvenile Justice Board for acceptable orders underneath the Act of 2000”.

Justice Batra added that Part 7A of the Act of 2000 said that the sentence, if any, handed by a court docket could be deemed to don’t have any impact. Though the offence within the case in hand was dedicated earlier than the enactment of the Act of 2000, the petitioner was entitled to the advantage of juvenility underneath Part 7A, if it was discovered on inquiry that he was lower than 18 on the date of the alleged offence.

“Within the case of the petitioner, his attraction had additionally been dismissed by this court docket on October 1, 2013. Nonetheless, this court docket remains to be obliged to think about the plea of juvenility taken by the petitioner and grant him acceptable reduction. The truth that the Act of 2000 has later been changed by the Act of 2015 would make no distinction,” Justice Batra concluded.

Entitled to profit

The accused will probably be entitled to the advantage of juvenility, if discovered to be a juvenile, even in circumstances the place the offence was dedicated earlier than the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Safety of Kids) Act, 2000. — Bench





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