Punjab & Haryana High Court- Don’t stress on age to define juveniles


, TNN | Mar 30, 2013, 

Don’t stress on age to define juveniles: HC
 CHANDIGARH: Against the backdrop of a raging debate on the age of juvenile offenders following the Nirbhaya rape, the Punjab and Haryana high court has held that benefits and privileges of juveniles should not be accorded to minors involved in monstrous crimes merely because of their biological age. Instead, it should be premised on the ability of offenders to understand the consequences of their actions.
“It is the advancement of the mental faculty of juvenile accused, which would suggest whether he is an adult or a juvenile,” the HC held while recommending a specialized examination of minors by experts who can evaluate their ability to segregate good and bad to show his/her maturity or immaturity to answer for the deeds.Justice Mahesh Grover of the Punjab and Haryana high court passed this judgment while dismissing the bail petition of a minor, a class VII student, who had allegedly raped two girls of class IX and X of his own school. The verdict came last week and a copy of the judgment was made available on Friday.

The judge was of the view that it is the factors related to growth and maturity psychologically and socially, but not entirely biologically, which would give an insight as to whether a person is a child or an adult.

“The courts ought not automatically assume that the statutory definition would confer the halo of a juvenile and give him an undeserving protection and benefits,” the court observed.

“In a country like ours the age given in the school certificate or the records of the school would only speak of an age imaginatively conjured by the parents at the time of admission. Even though it may form a persuasive piece of material, but certainly no credence and outright acceptability should be afforded to it.”

In this case, the juvenile from Chuchakwas village in Jhajjar district in Haryana had kidnapped the two girls in October last year. Both the victims and accused remained untraced for 10 days, during which the accused had allegedly raped both the girls at different places. While dismissing the bail plea of the accused, HC has asked the Juvenile Justice Board to consider the case in view of the observations.

 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. P.P.Ramayya
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 16:37:41

    It is better if you give the citation of the verdict , so that it will be useful to Advocates like to me in their profession

    Reply

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