Revisional Powers U/S 102 Juvenile Justice Act Vested With High Court, Cannot Be Exercised By Sessions Court/ Children’s Court: Jammu & Kashmir HC
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has made it clear that a Sessions Court or a Children’s Court cannot entertain a revision petition against the order of Juvenile Justice Board.
Justice Sanjay Dhar observed that the power of revision under Section 102 of the Juvenile Justice Act is vested with the High alone. "No such power is vested with the Court of Sessions or Children’s Court," the bench remarked.
"Applicability of provision relating to the revision i.e. Section 397 of Cr.P.C. has been ousted by Section 1 (4) of JJ Act, read with Section 5 Cr.P.C. because the matters relating to the revision are provided for in the JJ Act, which is a special legislation. 14) In view of the above, the learned Sessions Judge either in her capacity as Sessions Court or in her capacity as Children’s Court has grossly fallen into an error by entertaining a revision petition against the order of the Juvenile Justice Board."
The pronouncement was made by while hearing an appeal under Section 101 (5) of the JJ Act, challenging the order passed by Principal Sessions Judge in a revision petition against order of the Juvenile Justice Board granting bail to the appellant.
The appellant premised his plea on the ground that the Principal Sessions Judge, Samba, while exercising the powers of the Children’s Court or of a Sessions Judge did not possess the power of revision in terms of the provisions contained in the Juvenile Justice Act and as such, the impugned order passed by the Principal Sessions Judge, Samba is without any jurisdiction.
In the instant case the petitioner was accused in an FIR No. 08/2021 for offences under Sections 376-D(Gang Rape), 366(Kidnapping & Abduction, inducing women to cimpel her marriage), 506(Criminal Intimidation), 323(Voluntarily Causing Hurt) and 212(Harbouring Offender) IPC registered with the Police Station, Vijaypur. After the charge sheet came to be laid before the Juvenile justice board, the petitioner filed an application for grant of bail before the Juvenile Justice Board, which was allowed and he was granted interim bail in terms of order dated March 10th 2021.
Subsequently the respondents moved an application for cancellation of the bail before the Juvenile Justice Board, Samba which came to be dismissed by the Juvenile Justice Board. As a consequence both the orders came to be challenged by the respondent by way of a revision petition before the Principal Sessions Judge, Samba (Children’s Court) and vide the impugned order, the petition was allowed and the orders passed by the Juvenile Justice Board were set aside.
After giving anxious consideration to the contentions of the parties, Justice Dhar observed that the Sec 101 & 102 clearly prescribe that any person aggrieved of the order of the Juvenile Justice Board made under the Act has a right to prefer an appeal before the Children’s Court within a period of thirty days. It further provides that no such appeal lies from the order of Court of Sessions passed in an appeal, the bench recorded.
Explaining the law prescribing for a Children’s Court, Justice Dhar noted that as per Section 2(20) of the JJ Act means a Court established under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 or a Special Court under the POCSO Act 2002 and in the absence of these special Courts, it means the Court of Sessions having the jurisdiction.
Explaining the mandate of Section 102 of the JJ Act the court said that the revisional powers in terms of Section 102 have been vested with the High Court and no such power is vested with the Court of Sessions or Children’s Court as Section 1(4) of JJ Act gives an overriding effect to the provisions contained in said Act.
While highlighting the overriding effect of JJ Act in terms of Section 1(4), Justice Dhar observed that besides Section 5 of the Cr.P.C provides that nothing in the Code can affect any special or local law or any special jurisdiction or power conferred by any other law in the absence of the provision to the contrary, meaning thereby that the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure would not apply to a matter which is covered by provisions contained in the JJ Act.
Expounding further on the law applicable, Justice Dhar observed that since the power of revision has been exclusively vested with the High Court in terms of Section 102 of the JJ Act, the applicability of provision relating to the revision i.e. Section 397 of Cr.P.C. has been ousted by Section 1 (4) of JJ Act, read with Section 5 Cr.P.C. because the matters relating to the revision are provided for in the JJ Act, which is a special legislation.
Observing that the Sessions Judge either in her capacity as Sessions Court or in her capacity as Children’s Court had grossly fallen into an error by entertaining a revision petition against the order of the Juvenile Justice Board, the bench pointed that although, in the title of the petition “revision/appeal” had been mentioned, yet the petition before the Session Judge had been registered as a revision petition and the Sessions Judge has treated it as a revision petition which is clear from the reference to the provisions contained in Section 397 of Cr.PC. in the impugned order.
Commenting further on the impugned order, Justice Dhar also pointed that no reasoning much less a sound reasoning had been given by the Sessions Judge for setting aside the order of the Juvenile Justice Board. Merely repeating the contentions of the parties and quoting the case law and the provisions of law, does not make an order well reasoned, said the court.
"Even though, the impugned order is running into twelve pages, but it is devoid of any reasons. Such an order cannot be sustained in the eyes of law", the bench underscored.
In view of the same the bench allowed the petition and the impugned order passed by Principal Sessions Judge, Samba was set aside and the petitioner was directed to be released on bail in accordance with the directions passed by Juvenile Justice Board, Samba.
Case Title: Master X th. Shah Wali Vs State of J&K
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (JKL) 59
Coram: Justice Sanjay Dhar
Counsel For Petitioner: Mr. Rakesh Chargotra. Advocate
Counsel For Respondent: Mr. Vishal Bharti, Dy. AG