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Father of juvenile accused is pressuring me: Judge

Stating this, Choubey passed a reference order on April 12, a copy of which is with HT. In the order, he wrote some advocates had come to meet him earlier that day.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2019 04:29 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Juvenile,Judge,Juvenile Justice Board
Copies of the order, which was sent to the district and sessions judge, Gurugram, are with the victim’s father and the accused’s father as well.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The principal magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board, Manglesh Kumar Choubey, has informed the district and sessions judge that the father of a teenager — accused of killing an eight-year-old boy at a private school in Bhondsi in 2017 — is trying to influence him and recently even approached him to withdraw his order to shift his son from a Faridabad observation home to a Karnal institution.

Stating this, Choubey passed a reference order on April 12, a copy of which is with HT. In the order, he wrote some advocates had come to meet him earlier that day. Since he was busy and there is no facility in the board to meet a panel of advocates, he went outside the office to see if there was any problem. He saw a few of advocates along with the father of the juvenile accused.

“I was astonished to see that they were trying to influence me to change my order by exercising power under Section 104 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. They were pressuring me not to shift the juvenile to the place of safety Madhuban, from the Observation Home, Faridabad. They were bent upon to influence me to recall the order dated 11.04.2019 on the ground that the Board has ample powers to amend its own orders. When the undersigned refused to accede to their unlawful demand and requested them to approach the state government to designate a place of safety of their choice at the place nearer to the house of the accused or to challenge the order, they went away but the tone of the father of the juvenile was threatening [sic],” the reference order stated.

Copies of the order, which was sent to the district and sessions judge, Gurugram, are with the victim’s father and the accused’s father as well.

The accused’s father, however, denied the allegations and said he had gone to collect a copy of the transfer order and not to influence the principal magistrate in any way.

“I never had a threatening tone while speaking to the principal magistrate. This is a baseless allegation. The special home is neither safe nor secure for my son, as there are many litigation cases pending with regard to the safety and protection of juvenile there. Transferring him there will cause immense mental pain and agony to us. The transfer to a far off place is not even in the interest or welfare of the child. I have requested not to shift my son from here,” he said Saturday.

Sushil Tekriwal, counsel for the father of the murdered boy, said the warning, intimidating and menacing attack on a judicial officer is an unpardonable felony and a criminal case under strictest provisions of law shall have to be registered against all culprits immediately. “The juvenile suspect is accused of committing a ‘heinous’ crime and his father has been interfering in the court’s proceeding since he was apprehended by the CBI,” he said.

On April 11, Choubey had passed an order to shift the juvenile accused to Place of Safety in Madhuban, Karnal — a special home for boys aged 16-18 years accused of heinous crimes — as he had turned 18 on April 3. Later in the day, the accused’s father filed an application stating that as per Section 95 of the JJ Act, the board has to see the best interest of the child, and before transferring him from a place to another, the board has to see that the child is kept at a place nearby his residence. It also seeks consideration for safety of the juvenile.

On April 12, the accused’s father submitted an application to the JJB and the sessions court, seeking a stay on the transfer. The board, in its reply on the same day, said they are surprised to see this application as he is not the first or the only juvenile who was being shifted. The order further stated that neither the juvenile nor his parents can successfully pray for special treatment on any ground. The sessions court stayed the transfer order on April 12. A hearing Saturday was adjourned till May 4.

First Published: Apr 21, 2019 04:29 IST