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Court asks juvenile board to find out if murder accused is minor

Posted on Aug 01 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 1 : A court here has directed Juvenile Justice Board to conduct an inquiry over an accused, facing murder charges, who was declared minor without holding any investigation on his age proof.

Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala ordered came while hearing a revision plea filed by complainant Gayatri Devi challenging a magisterial court order that has declared an accused in murder case as a minor.

According to complainant, the accused with Vijay Kumar, Rajpal Singh, Vishal alias Santosh, Rajesh Sharma, Ravinder Kumar Tiwari and Ravi had murdered Shivraj by stabbing him Sept 17, 2013 in east Delhi. A case was registered against them in east Delhi's Harsh Vihar police station under the charges of murder, voluntarily causing hurt, destruction of evidence, and common intention.

The complainant told court that police, before filing the charge sheet, moved an application before a magistrate here, with the request to shift the said accused to an observation home on the ground he was a minor at the time of commission of offence.

Gayatri Devi said that the magistrate without perusal of any record and without issuing any direction to file any supporting document regarding the correct age passed an order on Oct 15, 2013 declaring the accused a juvenile and shifted him to observation home.

The judge observed that the trial court record summoned from the Juvenile Justice Board brought out that the accused was treated as juvenile without holding an inquiry.

He said that the magistrate should have conducted an inquiry and had passed the order without compliance of provisions under the Juvenile Justice Act and that such an order cannot be sustained.

"It has to be kept in mind that in case of claim of juvenility raised either before a court or before Juvenile Justice Board, an inquiry into his/her age is conducted. There cannot be any case wherein a person would be declared juvenile without holding any inquiry," the court said.

Setting aside the magistrate's order and directed "Juvenile Justice Board to pass a declaration regarding status of accused, on the basis of inquiry already conducted by it and any further inquiry deem fit by the board".

The court also found that Juvenile Justice Board has thoroughly examined the witness summoned from the school first attended by said minor accused, along with record of his admission.

"The board observed that since this person was already declared a juvenile, therefore, the board went ahead to frame a notice treating him a juvenile," the court said.

The court ordered the board to pass a declaration on the basis of outcome of inquiry conducted into age of this person and directed police, accused and complainant to appear before board on Aug 4.

The order was delivered Wednesday and released Friday.

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