THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court Thursday directed the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in Gurgaon to decide afresh whether the accused — a Class XI student — in the murder of a prominent Gurgaon school student has to be treated as an adult or juvenile during the trial.
Last year, the JJB had ordered that the teenager would be tried as an adult and directed that he be produced before the Gurgaon sessions court for trial. The sessions court had also upheld the Board’s decision. On September 8 last year, a Class II student had been found with his throat slit inside the school’s washroom. The teen had been apprehended by the CBI on November 7 last year in connection with the murder. Gurgaon Police had earlier arrested a bus conductor and accused him of the murder, before the CBI arrested the teenager.
In July, the juvenile’s father had challenged the JJB decision before the High Court, seeking a revision on it. The judgment on the matter was pronounced by Justice Daya Chaudhary on Thursday. “Our plea has been allowed and the matter has been remanded back to the JJB for a fresh look on the issue,” senior advocate Rupinder S Khosla told The Indian Express. A copy of the judgment was not immediately made available by the court.
During the hearing in the case, Khosla had argued that the parameters required to be followed by the Board in taking the decision had not been complied with. He added that during every hearing, the parent or guardian of the accused must be allowed to remain present before the Board, but the CBI had kept everything secretive — in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Khosla had argued that India is a signatory to various international conventions, on the basis of which the age of an adult under the criminal law has been set at 18 years. He had also told the court that the CBI is mostly used to cases where the accused are hardcore criminals, and the provisions of the JJ Act have not been properly followed in taking the decision to treat him as an adult during the trial.
CBI counsel Sumeet Goel, during the hearing, had argued that there is no scope of interference in the decision of the Board, and that it had taken the medical reports into account in forming its assessment. “The order is well reasoned, and the Board is an expert body,” he had submitted before the court.