In a classic example of delayed justice, an accused in an extortion and scuffle case, has been held as a minor by a magistrate twenty years later. Following this, the magistrate court transferred the trial to the Juvenile Justice Board, where the trial is yet to begin.
Suhas (name changed to protect identity), who is now employed in the government sector, had been booked along with three others for extortion, threatening and causing grievous hurt to the complainant who ran a garage in Mahalaxmi. The case was registered in September 1992 and the police filed a charge sheet against all the accused before the metropolitan magistrate court at Dadar in the same year. Suhas, along with three others, were granted bail in the same year.
The trial of the case has been pending since then. In 2007, Suhas, who is 36 years old now, moved an application claiming that he was a minor when the incident took place and hence his trial should be separated.
The application was pending for order till January 2012. On January 16, 2012, the magistrate passed an order, upholding his status as a minor. The court, after perusing the school leaving certificates and other documents, held that Suhas was 16 years and 85 days old when the incident took place.
However, eight months after the order was passed the board is yet to take up the case. Vishal Ingawale, Suhas’s advocate said: “The case is yet to come up before the board. The magistrate had directed the police to give us a notice informing the date and time of the hearing before the board. We are yet to get the notice.”