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