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Supreme Court Grants Interim Bail To 13 Prisoners Who Were Languishing In Jail For 14-22 Years Despite Proving Juvenility

Radhika Roy
8 July 2021 6:33 AM GMT
Supreme Court Grants Interim Bail To 13 Prisoners Who Were Languishing In Jail For 14-22 Years Despite Proving Juvenility
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The Supreme Court on Thursday granted interim bail to 13 prisoners who have been lodged in Agra Jail for periods ranging from 14 to 22 years, despite establishing that they were juveniles at the time of offence."It is not in dispute that 13 Petitioners have been held by Juvenile Justice Board as juveniles. Let interim bail be granted to them by presenting personal bonds", a bench...

The Supreme Court on Thursday granted interim bail to 13 prisoners who have been lodged in Agra Jail for periods ranging from 14 to 22 years, despite establishing that they were juveniles at the time of offence.
"It is not in dispute that 13 Petitioners have been held by Juvenile Justice Board as juveniles. Let interim bail be granted to them by presenting personal bonds", a bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee  and Justice V Ramasubramanain ordered.
Advocate Garima Prashad, appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh, submitted that interim bail can be granted to the petitioners but added that individual facts need verification.
"The Allahabad HC had passed orders to identify the ones who had passed the age of juvenile. We have no objection with the bail, but we need to conduct verification", the counsel for State of UP said. She sought two weeks time to file counter-affidavit.
Advocate Rishi Malhotra, appearing for the Petitioners, submitted that this was a case of "illegal detention".
The plea submits that despite rulings of the Juvenile Justice Board under the Juvenile Justice Act wherein it held that the Petitioners were juveniles as they were all below the age limit of 18 years, the State of Uttar Pradesh had failed to take any steps for their release.


"Though in majority of the cases their statutory criminal appeal are pending before the High Court against their conviction under various IPC offences, but the necessity and the need of hour is to direct immediate release of these Petitioners in view of the fact that not only they are declared juvenile but they have already undergone a maximum period of detention provided under Section 15 read with Section 16 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 viz. 3 years", submits the plea.

Referring to an order dated 24 May, 2012 wherein the Allahabad High Court had directed the Juvenile Justice Board to hold an inquiry for determination of the age of prisoners who were languishing in jail, the plea submits that JJ Board had categorically held that the Petitioners were juveniles on the date of the incident. Despite this order, they had been languishing in jail for more than a decade.

Stating that Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees right to life and personal liberty, the plea has prayed for the immediate release of the Petitioners in light of the JJ Board order. 

(Tikam Singh and others vs State of Uttar Pradesh and others).

Click here to read/download the order




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