HC declares robbery convict 'juvenile', sets aside life sentence
Declaring a convict juvenile, the Delhi High Court has set aside life sentence granted to him for causing grievous hurt during a robbery in 2008.india Updated: Jun 18, 2013 23:38 IST
Declaring a convict juvenile, the Delhi High Court has set aside life sentence granted to him for causing grievous hurt during a robbery in 2008.
The court observed that there was laxity on part of the police and the trial court in establishing the age of the convict.
Granting the benefit under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and VP Vaish accepted his school certificate, which states his date of birth as October 24, 1990. The bench said, "We maintain the conviction of the appellant but set aside his sentence."
Allowing the minor's plea, the bench rejected the prosecution argument that he did not take up the plea that he was a juvenile during the trial proceedings.
"This apparently is factually correct but does not help them or compel us to reject the application...The argument exposes and shows lapse on the part of the prosecuting agency and the courts(trial) as this question (age) was not examined and gone into," the bench said.
The court accepted the suggestion by the minor's counsel that his client should be provided counselling and sent to an After Care Home for boys above the age of 18 years.
On March 9, 2010 the trial court had sentenced the boy along with three others to life imprisonment under Sections 394 (causing hurt in committing robbery) and 397 (committing robbery to cause death or grievous hurt). He was also sentenced to five years in jail under the Arms Act.
Considering the jail record of the convict, who has spent over four years in jail, the bench said: "His conduct in jail has been satisfactory. The appellant will be housed in After Care Home at Alipur for a period of six months. He will be regularly counselled there and he should be trained in professional skills as per his aptitude and ability." The court also sought a status report in the compliance of its orders.