The Bombay high court on Monday refused to quash criminal proceedings initiated against a 12-year-old boy from Malad who has been accused of writing explicit letters to the mother of a fellow student.
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai said boy’s plea could not be considered unless the Juvenile Justice Board completed inquiry into the incident under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
The judges said the case would be governed by the Juvenile Justice Act, which was enacted to ensure that children in conflict with the law received proper care, protection and treatment.
Acting on the complaint of the woman, a 32-year-old housewife, the Dindoshi police had booked the boy under sections 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (using words, gestures or acts intending to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, the woman has since submitted an affidavit in court in which she consents to quashing the criminal case, stating that the parties have reached an amicable settlement.
According to the woman, the boy wrote an explicit letter to her on July 20, 2016, which she ignored. Two days later he wrote her another letter, again seeking sexual favours and asking her to meet him at a particular place where he would wait for her wearing glasses of a certain colour. When the woman went there with other members of her family, she saw the boy waiting there wearing the glasses he had described; they gave him a stern warning and let him go.
However, after the boy allegedly sent her two more letters, she went to the police and filed a complaint.
At an earlier hearing, the high court noticed that the boy had not been produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, which has exclusive powers to deal with children in conflict with the law. The boy was produced before the JJB on February 3. The high court has asked the JJB to submit a report on its proceedings by April 28.