Gurugram school murder: Juvenile Board rejects bail plea of minor accused
The case pertains to the murder of a class-2 boy on September 8, 2017, at the school campus in Gurugram by the 16-year-old student of the same school with the motive of getting examinations and a parent-teacher meeting postponed.gurgaon Updated: Oct 31, 2018 16:13 IST
The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) of Gurugram, on Tuesday, rejected the regular bail application of the 16-year-old juvenile accused who was apprehended by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly murdering a seven-year-old student, a second grader, in the toilet of a private school in Gurugram on September 8, 2017.
Pradeep Choudhary, principal magistrate of JJB, subsequently directed the counsel of the accused juvenile to appear before the JJB on Thursday for personal hearing-cum-interaction session for his physical and mental assessment.
On November 3, JJB will constitute a medical board which will have a psychologist for mental and psychological assessment of the juvenile. The JJB on the basis of its assessment and report of the medical board will decide, within six weeks, whether the juvenile is to be tried as an adult or not. The high court had directed the JJB to conduct the assessment of juvenile by a psychologist.
Earlier on October 11, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had asked the JJB, Gurugram, to decide afresh whether accused should be tried as an adult or a juvenile. The court had also observed that the process adopted by JJB in deciding to treat juvenile as adult was ‘illegal’. The order had come on a petition filed by the juvenile challenging the JJB order to treat him as an adult.
Days after the HC order, the juvenile filed a fresh bail application before the city’s sessions court. The session court of Gurgaon on Friday had referred the case to the JJB, and on Tuesday after hearing the arguments of both the sides the board rejected the bail application of the juvenile.
The counsel for juvenile argued that in light of HC order at present, the suspect is juvenile and even in case of a conviction a juvenile cannot get more than 3 years of imprisonment. “He is already inside for around a year, trial of the case is getting delayed and investigation agency had completed its investigation related to petitioner (juvenile), so it is his right to get bail,” said Sandeep Aneja, juvenile’s counsel.
Countering the argument, Sushil Tekriwal, counsel for victim’s father, pointed that juvenile suspect is accused of committing a heinous crime. If released on bail, he shall pose a threat and danger for the society and also attempt winning over the witness and destroying the evidence as he has been doing so earlier also. He also contended that ends of justice could be realised only when the bail is rejected. Tekriwal further contended that the crime committed by juvenile has come under the rarest of the rare category and he should not be given bail. If he is tried as an adult, in that case he can get maximum of life imprisonment for the crime committed by him, so he deserves no leniency and the benefit of bail,” said Tekriwal.
CBI counsel Amit Kumar Jindal also opposed the bail application pointing that agency in its charge sheet filed in February had listed out many evidences against juvenile. He can influence the witnesses if allowed to come out on bail.
During the proceedings, JJB observed that CBI has to appoint a Child Welfare Police Officer designated exclusively for juvenile offences only and the present investigating officer is not designated for the same which is illegal and the CBI has to observe the statutory provisions. JJB further observed that the CBI has no infrastructure to deal with juvenile offences which is very unfortunate. JJB also asked the new investigation officer S Sreemathy to file her appointment as the new IO which she failed to show on which JJB further directed her to produce the same in the course of time. JJB also observed that the CBI has to fulfil their part of obligations strictly and seriously which they have not done so far.
Earlier JJB, session court, HC and SC had rejected the default bail application of juvenile filed on the ground that CBI could not file supplementary chargesheet within the stipulated time.
After getting favourable order from HC, the juvenile, who is lodged at observation home in Faridabad since November 2017, filed a ‘regular’ bail application.
The class-2 boy was murdered on September 8, 2017, at the school campus in Gurugram by the 16-year-old student of the same school with the motive of getting examinations and a parent-teacher meeting postponed, as per Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chargesheet filed at a district and sessions court in city. Those between the age group of 16-18 now can be tried as an adult after following a due process involving JJB in heinous crimes as per a 2015 law.
First Published: Oct 31, 2018 13:25 IST