The CBI on Friday opposed in a Gurgaon court the bail plea of the 16-year-old student, accused of killing a seven-year-old boy, at the Ryan International school in Gurgaon. Additional Sessions Judge Jasbir Singh Kundu fixed the matter for January 6 for arguments on the appeal filed by the accused against an order of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) denying him bail.
The probe agency opposed the appeal in a written submission before the court. The court posted the matter for the next date after an adjournment was sought by the counsel for the accused. The JJB had on December 20 held that the 16-year-old boy would be tried as an adult and directed that he be produced before the Gurgaon sessions court on Friday.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 lowers the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years for heinous crimes like rape, murder and dacoity-cum-murder, which warrant at least seven years of imprisonment. However, the JJB first decides whether the crime committed has been “child-like” or was it committed in an “adult frame of mind”, following which the JJB orders the accused to be tried as juvenile or adult.
The JJB had passed the order on a plea that the accused teenager should not be treated as a juvenile. If convicted, he will stay in a correctional home till he is 21-years old after which the court can shift him to a jail or grant him bail, it had said. The board had earlier rejected the bail plea of the Class 11 Ryan International School student, charged with killing Pradhuman Thakur, a Class 2 student of the same school, in the school premises on September 8.
It had set up a committee which included a psychologist from the PGI, Rohtak for an expert opinion on the accused, who had been taken into custody by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month. The panel submitted its report in two sealed envelopes.
The JJB had noted that the accused was mature enough to recognise the consequences of his actions. Pradhuman was found with his throat slit in the school’s washroom. The Gurgaon Police had said the crime was committed by a school bus conductor, which the CBI later refuted. The CBI claimed the teenager had killed Pradhuman in a bid to get the school closed so that a scheduled parent-teacher meeting and an examination could be deferred.