The Allahabad High Court Monday directed a Ghaziabad court to carry out an inquiry if a man,sentenced to life,was a juvenile when he commited the crime.The court gave two months to the lower court to complete the inquiry during which the accused would remain on parole.
The convict had committed the offence of kidnapping for ransom,murder and destruction of evidence on July 14,1997. The matter was reported from Loni police station area of Ghaziabad. The convict had claimed he was only 15 when he committed the offence.
The lower court in 2002 ordered medical examination of the convict and it was concluded he was an adult at the time of the offence. The man was sentenced to life in 2008.
The convict then approached the court seeking bail primarily on the ground that he was a juvenile when the crime was committed. However,his bail prayer was cancelled four times by different HC benches on the ground that his plea was already considered by the lower court.
The convict applied for bail for the fifth time on the ground that under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,2000,he was entitled to a proper inquiry. The court agreed with this contention and granted parole to the convict.
Passing the order,a division bench of Justices Vinod Prasad and Karunand Bajpayee said: While directing an inquiry into the question of juvenility of the appellant by the learned trial judge,court No. 9,Ghaziabad,to be concluded within a period of two months from today,we direct the release of the appellant on short term bail (parole) during interregnum period.