The Mumbai Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) has framed charges against the 16-year-old boy arrested in the case of the 2016 abduction and murder of a three-and-a-half-year-old girl in Nagpada. While the police had proposed that he be charged under sections including kidnapping and murder, the board has charged him only under Section 385 (putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion) of the Indian Penal Code and dropped the other charges.
The JJ Marg police had in December last year held the juvenile along with a 17-year-old boy claiming they had kidnapped and murdered Juneza Khan for ransom. The JJB had in August passed an order directing that the 17-year-old’s case be transferred to the children’s court in the Mumbai sessions court for trial as an adult. The board had said the 16-year-old should be continued to tried as a juvenile before it. He was also subsequently granted bail.
Advocates Yakub Sheikh and Tahera Shaikh, representing the juvenile, said they had submitted to the board that there was no evidence against his involvement in the kidnap and murder.
The police had said the 17-year-old who lived on the same floor as the victim in Nagpada kidnapped her and took her to his home. They claimed he had then strangled her to death in a state of panic after her family members began looking for her. The boy then allegedly dumped her body on the terrace of a neighbouring building. The police had said they made a breakthrough in the case after over two weeks when the boys allegedly made ransom calls to the victim’s father.
Senior police inspector Shirish Gaikwad said they had filed an appeal against the board’s decision to not transfer the 16-year-old’s case for trial as an adult. “The appeal before the sessions court is pending,” he said. DCP Manoj Kumar Sharma said he was not aware of the charges being dropped against the juvenile.