Allahabad high Court: In a criminal revision petition filed to set aside the impugned judgment and order passed by Additional District and Sessions Judge, POCSO Court, Lucknow in offences under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860, Shree Prakash Singh, J. by considering that the revisionist is in child protection home since 08-06-2022 and that an undertaking has been given by his father that he will keep an eye on him and the accused will observe good conduct and behaviour, released him on bail, subject to the following conditions:
(i) Father will furnish an undertaking that upon release on bail juvenile ‘X’ will not be permitted to go into contact or association with any known criminal or allowed to be exposed to any moral, physical, or psychological danger and further that the father will ensure that the juvenile will not repeat the offence.
(ii) Father will further furnish an undertaking to the effect that the juvenile will pursue his study at the appropriate level which he would be encouraged to do besides other constructive activities and not allowed to waste his time in unproductive and excessive recreational pursuits.
In the case at hand, the First Information Report was lodged by the grandmother alleging that the grandson (accused) who is 16 years 8 months 7 days and the grand daughter who is of 10 years were living with their mother and once the mother was trying to restrain her son (accused) for using mobile phones, the revisionist opened fire and caused death of his mother.
The accused submitted that he is innocent and has falsely been implicated in the present case. Further, the Juvenile Justice Board (‘Board’) while dealing with the matter did not consider the fact that none has seen the incident, as even the informant based on hearsay has lodged the FIR and has alleged that the grandson has opened fire and murdered his mother. He also added that even the witnesses who were produced by the prosecution are not the eyewitnesses. It was also submitted that the Board has failed to consider the mandate of Section 12 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
The State contended that this is a serious allegation, and heinous crime has been committed by the accused, thus he is not entitled to any relief.
The Court said that it is established that the accused is a juvenile. Further, it was noted that the Deputy Probation Officer (‘DPO’) report does not disclose the fact that the release of the accused shall bring him in association with any unknown criminal or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger. Further, the FIR has been lodged by the grandmother of the accused and she is not an eyewitness. The other witnesses are also not the eyewitnesses in the instant matter and only on hearsay basis, the bail of the accused has been rejected.
The Court took note of co-ordinate Bench of this Court in Juvenile ‘X’ through his father v. State of UP, Criminal Revision No. 2318 of 2021 wherein it was held that the Board as well as the Appellate Court have not properly appreciated the mandatory provisions of Section 12 of JJ Act, 2015 as well as other provisions in relation to juvenile ‘X’ and declined the bail merely on the basis of unfounded apprehension. In the absence of any material or evidence of reasonable grounds, it cannot be said that his release would defeat the ends of justice and has failed to give reasons on three contingencies for declining the bail to juvenile ‘X’.
Thus, the Court released the juvenile on bail.
[Juvenile X (Minor) Thru. His Father v State of UP, 2023 SCC OnLine All 146, order dated 26-04-2023]