The Gujarat High Court recently rapped a lower Court for sending a juvenile delinquent to jail and treating him as an adult under the law, despite having been apprised of the fact of him being a juvenile.
Terming the incident as “unfortunate”, Justice G.R. Udhwani observed, “It is unfortunate that the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Talod was unmindful of the provisions of the Act when it was brought to his notice that the applicant was juvenile. Once the said fact was brought to the notice of the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Talod, it was obligatory for him to deal the applicant under Sections 10 and 12 of the Act.”
The Court was hearing a bail application filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in connection with a house-breaking case in a village near Talod town. The fact of the Petitioner being a juvenile was brought to the attention of the Judicial Magistrate First Class. The High Court, however, noted that the JMFC paid no heed to this. Consequently, the juvenile had to endure police custody and judicial custody since August this year.
Justice Udhwani, therefore, directed that the Petitioner be placed in an observation home immediately, in compliance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
“Continued custody of the juvenile is likely to defeat the very purpose of the act inasmuch as his possibility of coming into contact with the hard-core criminals in jail cannot be ruled out,” the Court observed.
It, however, acknowledged that the bail application cannot be entertained by it and directed that his application be treated as an application under Section 12 of the Act, which deals with the bail for a juvenile delinquent.
Read the Order Here