Plant 100 Trees Within A Year: SC Frees Man Found To Be Juvenile At The Time Of Alleged Attempt To Murder [Read Order]

Plant 100 Trees Within A Year: SC Frees Man Found To Be Juvenile At The Time Of Alleged Attempt To Murder [Read Order]

Ordering release of a 'convict' who was later found to be a juvenile at the time of incident of crime, the Supreme Court directed him to plant 100 trees within a period of one year.

Solemen SK was convicted under Section 307 IPC [Attempt to Murder] and sentenced to three years imprisonment. The conviction and sentence was later upheld by the High Court. The special leave petition filed by him before the Apex Court was also dismissed.

In the disposed of Special Leave Petition, an application under Section 9 (2) of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015 was filed seeking a declaration that he was a Juvenile on the date of the offence. The bench called for report from the District Judge in this regard. After perusing the report, the bench concluded that he was a Juvenile on the date of offence.

Under Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act, if it is found that the accused is a Juvenile, he would be a child in conflict with law and he has to be referred to the Juvenile Justice Board.

Instead of adopting such a course, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta set aside the sentence and observed:

"As the offence was committed in 2004, we do not feel it appropriate to send the petitioner to be dealt with by the Board. Instead, we are of the opinion that the ends of justice would be met by directing the petitioner who is now a registered medical practitioner aged 32 years, practicing in Murshidabad to perform community service. The learned counsel for the state suggested that this obligation of performing community service could be met with by a direction being to the petitioner to plant trees. We accept the suggestion made by the learned counsel for the petitioner and direct the petitioner to plant 100 trees within a period of one year."

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