After 8 years in jail, hotel manager's killer freed as a juvenile
More than eight years after a boy was arrested for murdering a Shangri-la Hotel manager and convicted and sentenced for the crime in 2011, the Delhi High Court has ordered his release deeming him to be a juvenile "below the age of 18" at the time of the crime.
Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Sunita Gupta accepted the ossification test report submitted by medical board of AIIMS, conducted to determine the age of Anand Kishor, who claimed to be a juvenile at the time of crime. The report said Kishor's present age is between 25-28.
Accepting Kishor's claim, the court said the medical board has given his age as between 25-28 years, and after giving the benefit of a year's margin on the lower side, his age comes to 17 years, 9 months at the time of murder.
As per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, an accused below the age of 18 at the time of the crime is to be treated as a juvenile in conflict with the law. Even if convicted for crime by a juvenile court, such an accused can be punished only with a maximum term of three years in a special home, irrespective of the crime.
The court ruling came on an appeal of Kishor. He murdered Shangri-la Hotel's project manager Bhaskar in 2006. The manager was allegedly a homosexual and used to take the services of Kishor, who was a sex worker. He killed Bhaskar over a dispute of Rs.40,000, which Bhaskar took on the pretext of giving him a job.
In June 2011, a Delhi court convicted Kishor for murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
"Since, the medical board as was constituted by AIIMS have given their report and along with report, they have also annexed the relevant medical literature, based on which they have estimated bone age of the applicant between 25-28 years, therefore, we are inclined to accept the said report," the high court said.
The court said: "Taking into consideration the period of incarnation already undergone by Kishor, i.e. eight years and three months, we direct the concerned jail superintendent to release him forthwith."
(Posted on 24-04-2014)