Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court: M.G. Sewlikar, J., held that, in terms of Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Juvenile Justice Board has to make assessment into heinous offences to determine whether CCL is to be tried as an adult.

Present revision was preferred by the State of Maharashtra against the decision by the Additional Sessions Judge confirming the order of the Juvenile Justice Board, Aurangabad dismissing the application by its order.

Factual Matrix

An Officer-in-charge of the Anti-Terrorist Squad Unit had received secret information in that some persons had engaged themselves in terrorist activities in Mumbra and Aurangabad areas. Further, he secretly obtained the name, addresses and cell phone numbers of the suspects.

The said suspects were put under surveillance and from the information received, it was revealed that one Mohsin Khan and his associates had established a group “Ummat E Mohammadia” and some trusted and like-minded persons were made members of the group.

It was suspected that the suspects would carry out some terrorist activities in Mumbai. Hence four teams were formed.

On the arrest of accused 1, it was revealed that one Zaman had made some poisonous substance which was to be added in food at a function or in the water so as to cause mass murder. The said substance was handed over to Salman and Zaman.

As per the prosecution, accused 1 to 9 were indoctrinated with the ideology of terrorist organization ISIS. The said accused persons hatched a criminal conspiracy to carry out the terrorist attack with the use of a poisonous substance and explosive substance in Mumbai, Aurangabad and other places.

In view of the above an offence came to be registered under Section 120-B of the Penal Code 1860 read with Sections 18, 20, 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1976 read with Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.

Respondent being a child in conflict with the law on his arrest was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board.

The applicant State filed an application for preliminary assessment of CCL and the CCL be transferred to Children’s Court for trial as an adult. On hearing both sides, JJB rejected the application.

On being aggrieved with the above order, present revision was filed.

Analysis, Law and Decision

In terms of Section 15 of the JJ Act, JJB has to make an assessment into heinous offences to determine whether CCL is to be tried as an adult.

Whether the CCL has committed a heinous offence?

The sine qua non for trying the CCL as an adult for committing heinous offence is minimum punishment of seven years.

Bench noted that the JJB held that none of the Sections 18,20, 38 and 39 provided minimum punishment for seven years.

Therefore, it was clear that the JJB did not commit any error in rejecting the application.

Hence, the revision application was devoid of any substance and the same was accordingly dismissed. [State of Maharashtra v. Shadab Tabarak Khan, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 571, decided on 16-3-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

Special Public Prosecutor for applicant: Mangesh R. Jadhav

Advocate for Respondent: S.Y. Firdose h/f Md. Imran Khan M. Ismail Khan

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