29 Oct 2020 7:48 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court recently refused to interfere with the order of Special Judge (POCSO) Kanpur Nagar dismissing Criminal Appeal No.30 of 2019 of a Juvenile accused of raping a 6-year-old girl.[NOTE: The Special Judge (POCSO) Kanpur Nagar affirmed an order of the Juvenile Justice Board, Kanpur Nagar dated 16.02.2019 refusing bail to the revisionist (Juvenile) in Case Crime No.530 of...
The Allahabad High Court recently refused to interfere with the order of Special Judge (POCSO) Kanpur Nagar dismissing Criminal Appeal No.30 of 2019 of a Juvenile accused of raping a 6-year-old girl.
[NOTE: The Special Judge (POCSO) Kanpur Nagar affirmed an order of the Juvenile Justice Board, Kanpur Nagar dated 16.02.2019 refusing bail to the revisionist (Juvenile) in Case Crime No.530 of 2018, under Section 376 IPC and Section 3/4 of the POCSO Act, Police Station Panki, District Kanpur Nagar.]
The Bench of Justice J. J. Munir observed,
"The case in hand shows that the revisionist by his action, if true, has put the society and its surroundings on alarm. His actions have led to a situation, where prima facie no child of tender years, and more than that the parents or the guardians of a young child, would feel safe during their daily routine, when there is nothing otherwise to call extra caution."
The facts of the Case
The First Information Report dated 16.11.2018, in the matter was lodged by the opposite party no.2, regarding an occurrence dated 15.11.2018.
It has been stated in the FIR that the informant's minor daughter (the prosecutrix) aged about six years was playing along with other children of the locality when the revisionist, who is also a resident of the same locality, ravished her.
The Case Crime no. 530 of 2018, under Section 376 IPC and Section 3/4 of the POCSO Act, Police Station Panki, District Kanpur Nagar, was registered on the basis of the aforesaid information.
Thereafter, the revisionist moved the Juvenile Justice Board asking them to declare him a child in conflict with law. The Juvenile Justice Board by their order dated 08.01.2019 adjudged the revisionist was 'a child in conflict with law' aged 14 years, 3 months and 15 days on the date of occurrence.
The revisionist then asked to be released on bail by an application made under Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (for short, 'the Act'). The bail application came to be rejected by the Juvenile Justice Board.
The revisionist assailed that order in Appeal carried to the learned Sessions Judge. The revisionist's Appeal was dismissed by means of the impugned order. Assailing both the orders denying bail, the instant Revision plea was filed in the High Court.
Arguments put forth
Revisionist's counsel argued that his case has to be considered strictly on the parameters of Section 12 (1) of the Act. He emphasized that regarding bail plea of a juvenile of the revisionist's age, there could be no reference about the merits of the prosecution case or the gravity of the offence.
On the other hand, the A.G.A., urged that it is a heinous crime, where a six years old child had been ravished by the revisionist. In case, the revisionist was released on bail, it would lead to ends of justice being defeated.
The Court noted that it is a case where the revisionist, though below the age of 16, has ravished a very young prosecutrix, who is just six years old.
The Court noted that the prosecution was consistent in the FIR lodged by the prosecutrix's mother, the statement of the prosecutrix and her mother, recorded by the police, under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and the statement of the prosecutrix, under Section 164 Cr.P.C. before the Magistrate.
In this context, the Court said,
"The gravity of the charge, manner of its perpetration, circumstances in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, its immediate and not so immediate impact on the society at large and the locality, in particular, besides its impact on the aggrieved family, are all matters to be taken into reckoning while judging a juvenile's bail plea."
The Court was of the view that all these factors are relevant under the last disentitling clause postulated under the proviso to Section 12(1) of the Act, which says that release of the juvenile would 'defeat the ends of justice'.
The Court further remarked,
"After all 'defeat the ends of justice' is not a word of art. It has been thoughtfully introduced by the legislature to arm the Court with a right to overcome an otherwise absolute right to bail, wherein the totality of the circumstances, release on bail would adversely impact the law and order and the equilibrium of an ordered society."
Consequently, the Court opined that it is a case where the release of the child in conflict with the law would lead to ends of justice being defeated.
In the result, this Court did not find any good ground to interfere with the impugned orders. This revision failed and was dismissed.
However, looking to the period of detention of the revisionist, it was directed by the High Court that trial pending before the concerned Court be concluded expeditiously and preferably within two months from the date of receipt of a copy of the order, in accordance with Section 309 Cr.P.C. and in view of the principle laid down in the Judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Vinod Kumar v. State of Punjab 2015 (3) SCC 220, if there is no legal impediment.
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