SC orders the release of an accused aged 53 years now, finding that he was a Juvenile at the time incident, occurred 36 years ago

SC orders the release of an accused aged 53 years now, finding that he was a Juvenile at the time incident, occurred 36 years ago

A Two Judge Bench of Supreme Court in Abdul Razzak vs. State of UP has ordered the release of an accused now aged 53, holding that he was a Juvenile at the time of commission of offence (murder). The occurrence happened on 18th of February 1979. The prisoner Abdul Razzak was convicted under Section 302 and sentenced  to undergo life imprisonment  by  the  Court of Sessions Judge, Agra in Sessions Trial  No.325 of  1979 vide judgment dated 29th September, 1980.

The conviction  and  sentence  was affirmed by the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad on 21st February,2000. Supreme Court vide Order dated 29th September, 2000 dismissed the special leave petition. Review Petition filed against  the  said order was also dismissed on 20th  July, 2010.

Thereafter, the  High Court of Allahabad  vide  order dated 24th May,  2012 in  Crl. (PIL) Misc. W.P. No.855  of  2012 directed  suo motu action under proviso to Section 7-A of  the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act. The U.P. State Legal Services Authority took steps for implementation of  the  said judgment. The Juvenile Justice Board, Agra  vide Order dated  2nd  July,  2013 examined the case of  the petitioner and held that on the date of  incident, the petitioner was less than 18 years of age. Based on the above finding Abdul Razzak approached the Supreme Court

Supreme Court has interpreted Section 7A of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 and held that even  if   a person was not entitled to the benefit of  juveniles under the 1986 Act  or  the present Act  prior to its amendment  in 2006,  such benefit  is   available to  a  person  undergoing sentence if he was below 18 on the date of  the occurrence. The Bench ordered the release of the Accused holding that such relief can be claimed even if a matter has been finally decided, as in the present case

In January this year in another Case, a Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi  had set  aside the sentence, concluding that the deaf and dumb convict, who had been in jail for 14 years, was a juvenile at the time of commission of the offence

Read the Judgment here