The Bihar Human Rights Commission (BHRC) has directed the principal secretary (home), Bihar, to pay R4 lakh within six weeks, the highest it has awarded so far as compensation for more than five years of illegal detention of a juvenile.
Anil Kumar, a local resident, was charged with murder in September 1990, when he was 13 years old. After four months of judicial custody, he was released on bail by the sessions judge for being a juvenile. However, on November 1, 2006, additional sessions judge (fast track court) Patna, Ram Pravesh Chaubey, sentenced him to life imprisonment and three years rigorous imprisonment under the arms Act.
Subsequently, on March 5, 2012, the Patna high court held, that Kumar was a juvenile in conflict with law.
The high court said that under the juvenile justice act, no juvenile would be charged or tried for any offence together with a person who is not a juvenile nor can he be sentenced.
Holding that Kumar's conviction and sentence was vitiated, it directed that the appellant be released.
Having moved the BHRC for R12 lakh compensation, BHRC chairperson justice (retd) SN Jha on Wednesday ruled: "Monetary compensation can hardly give back the years the applicant spent.. remaining in incarceration for over fiveand-a-half years.. It can only be a token one but nonetheless give him some solace.. It took 22 years to finally earn reprieve from the high court.. The ordeal deprived the applicant of education, sound livelihood and a decent life".
A copy of the order has also been sent to the registrar general of Patna high court for action, if any.