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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Charged with murder, juvenile freed after 9 yrs

Syed Sajjad Ali, Hindustan Times  Agartala, May 31, 2011
First Published: 23:38 IST(31/5/2011) | Last Updated: 23:40 IST(31/5/2011)

Justice delayed is justice denied, but Bapi Adhikari would still cherish it. On Tuesday, he was released from jail almost nine years after he was awarded life imprisonment in a murder case — despite being a juvenile.

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The Agartala bench of the Guwahati high court overturned the judgment of a lower court and granted freedom to Adhikari, now in his mid-twenties, expressing displeasure at his faulty prosecution.

A person below the age of 18 has to be tried by the Juvenile Justice Board and can serve a maximum three-year sentence.

But Adhikari was not even 16 when he was sentenced for the murder of Apan Paul of Renters Colony near Agartala, said advocate Ratan Datta, who moved the review petition in the high court.

“It was surprising that the then additional district and sessions judge of West Tripura conducted the trial of both though Bapi was supposed to be placed before the Juvenile Justice Board,” Datta said.

“Justice has finally been done,” Datta said. “I am happy that the high court rejected the validity of the original trial.”


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