Uttaranchal High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Ravindra Maithani, J. granted bail to a Child-in-conflict of law (CIL) relying on the fact that she was young, could not differentiate between what was right and wrong and she had good atmosphere in her family. Further, the Court set aside the orders passed by the Juvenile Justice Board and District and Sessions Court by which the application of bail was rejected.
In the present case, the revisionist was a Child-in-Conflict with Law (CIL) and was seeking bail. According to the FIR, the CIL took the victim, a young girl of 13 years of age, in a garden and there she left the victim in the company of the co-accused, who raped the victim. Therefore, the revisionist challenged the order of the Juvenile Justice Board by which the bail application under Section 366-A of the Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 16 and 17 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 had been rejected. Further, the revisionist also challenged the order passed by the District and Sessions Judge by which the bail rejection order passed by the Juvenile Justice Board had been affirmed.
Submissions on behalf of the Revisionist
It was submitted that the CIL did not commit any offence and she was a young girl therefore, she did not know what had happened and she had no role in any act that had allegedly been committed by the co-accused.
Analysis, Law, and Decision
The Court noted that the counsel for the CIL had placed before the Court, the report of the Probation Officer which revealed that the CIL was a young girl, her family was poor, and she had less understanding to distinguish between right and wrong and her family atmosphere was also good. The Court further noted that the father of the CIL wanted custody of the CIL.
The Court held that a CIL was entitled to bail, irrespective of the offence being classified as bailable or non-bailable. The Court stated that “the only rider which prevented release of a CIL on bail, even in bailable offence was contained in proviso to Section 12(1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. According to it, a CIL may be denied bail even in bailable offences, if the release of the CIL may bring him in association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical, or psychological danger, or otherwise his release may defeat the ends of justice”.
The Court further stated that “the Act was based on certain principles, which were given under Section 3 of the Act and one of the principles was that it was the primary responsibility of the biological family or adoptive or foster parents, as the case may be, of a child to care, nurture and protect the child”.
The Court, after considering all the facts, held that there was no impediment in the grant of bail to the CIL. Therefore, the Court set aside the orders passed by the Juvenile Justice Board and District and Sessions Court and held that revision deserved to be allowed. Lastly, the Court directed the father of the CIL to take care of the CIL and to not allow her to contact any of the witnesses or their family members.
[Nirmala v. State of Uttarakhand, 2022 SCC OnLine Utt 1586, decided on 12-12-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Vaibhav Singh Chauhan, Advocate, for the Revisionist;
Lalit Miglani, AGA, for the Respondent.