Bombay high court rejects plea of teen who did not want to be tried as adult
The Bombay high court (HC) recently rejected a petition filed by an 18-year-old city resident, who is facing a charge of murder and was 17 at the time of the incident. The petitioner challenged the decision of the juvenile justice board (JJB) at Dongri to refer his case to the Children’s Court for being tried as an adult.
The petitioner had questioned the competence of the psychiatrists on the medical board, which submitted a report to the JJB. As per the report, the petitioner was mentally and physically fit at the time of committing the crime and understood the consequences of his action.
When a heinous crime is committed by a child above 16 years of age, section 15 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, imposes a duty on the JJB to conduct a preliminary assessment of the accused’s mental and physical capacity at the time of incident.
In April 2016, the medical board submitted its report to the JJB. As per the procedure, JJB then referred the petitioner to the Children’s Court to be tried as an adult. In October 2018, he moved HC against the decision and challenged the medical evaluation.
On March 28, assistant public prosecutor Anand Patil pointed out that the petitioner was the main accused in the crime. He had attacked the victim with a sword multiple times and had been mentally fit to commit the crime, contended Patil. Justice Mridula Bhatkar accepted the prosecutor’s argument, saying it did not find “good ground” for reassessment of the petitioner’s mental and physical abilities