Juvenile Board: Accused adults should go on trial

Telangana High Court
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Telangana High Court

Highlights

Transfers case record pertaining to CCL 1 to 4 to Children's Court and XII AMSJ, Nampally, for trial by invoking Section 18(3) of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, POCSO Act and Section 67A of Information Technology Act

Hyderabad: In the sensational Jubilee Hills minor gang-rape case, the Fifth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate-cum-Principal Magistrate of Juvenile Justice Board passed orders on Friday that there is a need for trial of the child in conflict with law 1 to 4.

In view of the discussions and also material available on record it opined and issued the order that there is a need for trial of 1 to 4 as adults. Further, it transferred the case record pertaining to CCL 1 to CCL 4 to the Children's Court and XII AMSJ, Nampally, for trial by invoking Section 18(3) of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, POCSO Act and Section 67A of Information Technology Act.

Since the alleged offences of CCL1 to 4 are heinous in nature and they were aged about 16 to 18 years at the time of alleged offences, the board conducted preliminary assessment of CCL1 to 4 in compliance of Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2015 r/w Rule 10-A of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016.

No preliminary assessment was conducted in respect of CCL 5 as his offences against him are not heinous, the magistrate of the board, stated in the order.

In the order, he mentioned that the board took the assistance of the professor of psychiatry, the Institute of Mental Health who has been deputed to assist the board. The psychiatrist, the board member and the magistrate, interacted separately with each child. They submitted their individual reports.

The magistrate interacted with the CCL 1 to 4 separately to assess their mental and physical capacity to commit the alleged offences and the ability to understand their consequences and also the circumstances in which they allegedly committed the offenses.

Moreover, he observed that the board member in her report dated September 29 agreed with the psychiatrist that the CCL 1 to 4 have mental and physical capacity, but differed on the aspect of the child in conflict with law (CCLs) capacity to understand the legal consequences of their actions. She opined that the CCL's may have been lured by the welcoming approach of the victim and that they do not have legal awareness; hence are unable to understand the legal consequences.

The order mentioned that ``in the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the board in the interim or final disposal, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, but where there is no such majority, the opinion of the principal magistrate, shall prevail."

In view of the discussion and material available on record, he opined that there is a need for trial of CCL 1 to 4 as adults. Hence, he transferred the case records pertaining to CCL1 to 4 to the Children's Court & XII AMSJ, Nampally for trial by invoking Section 18(3) of JJ Act, 2015

Brief facts of case

After filing the charge-sheets in the case in a record two months, the Hyderabad City Police filed a petition with the Juvenile Justice Board to try the minor suspects in the case as adults, keeping in mind the gravity of the crime.

The police in the petition are learned to have submitted that the minors had committed a heinous and grave crime and that they were matured enough to be tried as adults. Investigation officials had gathered concrete evidence in the case to try the six suspects, including five minors, charging them with rape and other sections.

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