Gurugram court says juvenile who ‘killed’ 7-year-old school boy to be tried as an adult
A 16-year-old accused in a Gurugram school murder case will be tried as an adult, a special children’s court ruled on Monday. The Class 11 student of a private school in Gurugram’s Bhondsi is accused of slitting the throat of a Class 2 student in a toilet on September 8 last year.
The court upheld the Juvenile Justice Board’s (JJB) order of December 20 last year and dismissed the appeal challenging it. The court also dismissed two other petitions challenging the permission granted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take the accused into custody and to procure fresh fingerprints.
The counsel for the accused had challenged the JJB order, saying it was “bad in law” and passed without giving him a proper opportunity to present his case.
Delivering the verdict on Monday, additional sessions judge JS Kundu termed the crime as “heinous”.
Unhappy with the order, the father of the juvenile accused said he will file a writ petition in the high court against the court order. “My son is innocent and I will not leave any stone unturned to save him,” the father of the accused said.
After an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act, 2016, the Juvenile Justice Board in Gurugram has so far declared 38 juveniles would be tried as adults; trials in 31 cases are going on and seven convictions have taken place so far.
“We will take all the remedies available to us as per the law as the orders are not legally sustainable,” Sandeep Aneja, counsel for the juvenile accused, said.
The case was transferred to the special children’s court, Gurugram, on December 20 by the JJB.
The court held the circumstances show the teenager was “mature enough” to understand the consequences of his alleged act and to think of ways to escape from lawful punishment.
The father of the victim expressed gratitude after the order and said he had faith in the legal system. “We knew and argued hence that his appeal holds no ground and the JJB has passed a reasoned and judicious order which cannot be faulted,” Sushil Tekriwal, the counsel of the victim’s family, said.
The order also stated that the juvenile has been heard by the board on November 22 and he was asked various questions to assess his capacity to commit and understand the consequences of the act he allegedly committed and he gave answers to all the questions very confidently. The judge stated in the order that the juvenile also knows how to cook up a story in order to save himself which in turn shows that he has adequate mental capacity. He was mature enough “to understand the consequences of his actions and to think of ways to escape from lawful punishment for the offence”. On January 8, the special children’s court had rejected the bail application of the accused.