A juvenile can’t be denied bail merely on report of threat to life: HC
The Punjab and Haryana high court has said that merely an apprehension that a juvenile in conflict with law could be harmed, is no ground to deny bail.
The HC bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia said that bail to a juvenile ‘is a rule’. “It will not be fair as such that he should continue to be detained in juvenile home on this aspect,” the court said, while referring to a social background report which had been furnished by the child welfare police officer, wherein it is observed that life of a child in conflict with law is in danger if he is set free.
The court said that if there is any danger to life of the juvenile, it is for his family to approach the state to protect him from the threat perception. “If he is not released on bail, he will only be exposed to other children who have also been detained on account of having committed offences. The ends of justice will not be served if the petitioner is kept in juvenile home during pendency of trial. Possibility of the petitioner being misguided by other accused in calling the deceased cannot be discounted,” the bench observed, ordering his release on bail. The court also took note of the fact that he and his family had no other criminal cases against them.
The order came in a bail plea filed by a juvenile, aged 16 years. The juvenile was among three persons booked in a murder case reported in November 2019. The allegations were that the boy called the deceased on some pretext and then two more persons joined in and the victim was allegedly burnt to death.
The crime was a result of the victim’s brother marrying the sister of two other accused against wishes of the family. The Juvenile Justice Board had denied bail in December 2019.
The order was upheld by the district and sessions court, Mansa, in February this year, which prompted the family to approach HC. The Mansa court had denied bail observing that the juvenile will be exposed to physical danger since the dispute arose out of honour killing.