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Juvenile given life for murder gets relief from SC

Last Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 19:33

New Delhi: A juvenile sentenced to life
imprisonment in a murder case has got relief after remaining
in jail for nine years as the Supreme Court ordered his
immediate release.

The issue of the accused being juvenile was brought to
the notice of the apex court while it was hearing his bail
plea during the pendency of the appeal challenging Madhya
Pradesh High Court decision convicting him in a murder case.

"The provisions of Juvenile Justice Act (JJA) squarely
applies to the juvenile. His case is to be considered not only
for grant of bail but also for release in terms of the Act,"
a bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph
said.

The juvenile had approached the apex court challenging
the verdict of Madhya Pradesh High Court which upheld his
conviction of the juvenile by the trial court at Dhar in 1994.

Contrary to the provisions of the JJA, a benevolent
legislation, the accused was tried by the lower court along
with other co-accused in a murder case, the court noted.

JJA provides for separate trial of a juvenile before the
Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), created under the Act, in case
they are co-accused for an offence with others who are major.

It also provides for that a juvenile cannot be kept under
detention for a period of more than three years.

Relying on the birth certificate issued by Chief Registrar
of Dhar district under the Registration Act, the
court said he was a juvenile at the time of committing the
offence.

"The claim of juvenility under the JJA can be raised
before the court at any stage even after final disposal of the
case," the bench said adding the court is required to send
such juveniles to JJB instead of passing any sentence if they
are found to be minors.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 19:33

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