B.A. No. 123/2013 and CMA No. 41/2013. Case: Jaspreet Singh Vs State of J. & K.. High Court of Jammu and Kashmir (India)

Case NumberB.A. No. 123/2013 and CMA No. 41/2013
CounselFor Appellant: A.P. Singh, Advocate and For Respondents: H.A. Siddiqui, AAG
JudgesBansi Lal Bhat, J.
IssueRanbir Penal Code Svt, 1989 - Sections 302, 34, 341
Judgement DateJanuary 10, 2014
CourtHigh Court of Jammu and Kashmir (India)


Bansi Lal Bhat, J., (At Jammu)

1. Petitioners Jaspreet Singh and Amandeep Singh figure as accused in case titled State v. Jaspreet Singh and Anr. facing trial for charge under Sections 302/341/34 of RPC before learned Sessions Judge Jammu. Their plea for enlargement on bail was turned down by learned Sessions Judge inspite of finding recorded to the effect that both of them were below 18 years of age when the offence is alleged to have been committed. Unfazed by declining of bail at the hands of learned Sessions Judge, the petitioners have approached this Court through the medium of instant petition filed under Section 498 of Cr.P.C. for grant of bail. It is averred in the petition that during the pendency of Challan, petitioners filed an application before learned Sessions Judge claiming bail on the ground that they were juveniles at the time of alleged occurrence which led to an inquiry in which it was proved that the petitioners were below 18 years of age at the time of alleged occurrence. However, learned Sessions Judge rejected the bail plea by holding that the petitioners could not be given benefit under Juvenile Justice Act 2013. It is further averred in the petition that Juvenile Justice Act 2013 has been enforced in the State and petitioners are entitled to bail. It is pointed out that learned Sessions Judge has omitted to consider provisions of Section 2(m)(n), Sections 8, 13 and 21 of the Juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2013 which, when read together explicitly suggest that even if a person was not a juvenile under the old Act, he had to be treated as juvenile after coming into force of the new Act. It is further pointed out that in terms of Section 21 of the new Act the definition of juvenile would apply even if such person ceased to be so on or before the date of commencement of new Act. Thus, petitioners claim to be entitled to statutory right of bail in view of law laid down by Hon'ble Apex Court in Hari Ram v. State of Rajasthan & Anr. reported in 2009 (2) RCR 878 SC and Amit Singh v. State of Maharashtra reported in 2011 (3) RCR 859 SC.

2. Notice of the motion was served upon learned Additional Advocate General. As the petition involved interpretation of provisions of the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of Children) Act 2013 (Herein after referred to as 'the Act'), the petition was treated as revision. Opportunity was afforded to petitioners as also the State to address the Court.

3. The Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act, 1997 (hereafter referred to as "JJ Act") which repealed Jammu and Kashmir Children Act, 1970 and other laws in force dealing with juveniles came to be enforced on 01.04.1998. It made provisions for the care protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent juveniles and for the adjudication of matters relating to delinquent juveniles. Under this Act, juvenile was defined as a boy who had not attained the age of sixteen years or a girl who had not attained the age of eighteen years. Delinquent juvenile was defined as a juvenile who has been found to have committed an offence...

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