Minor’s Age Ignored: Bombay HC Orders Release of Juvenile Accused in Pune Car Crash

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Minor’s Age Ignored: Bombay HC Orders Release of Juvenile Accused in Pune Car Crash 

| Updated: June 25, 2024 16:04

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered that the 17-year-old boy allegedly involved in the Porsche car accident in Pune on May 19 be released immediately from an observation home.

The juvenile driver, who the police claim was drunk at the time of the incident, hit a two-wheeler and killed two techies. The minor had been detained at an observation home in Pune, Maharashtra.

The rulings from the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) remanding the juvenile to the observation home were quashed by a division bench of Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande. 

“We allow the petition and order his release. The CCL (Child in Conflict with Law) shall be in the care and custody of the petitioner (paternal aunt),” the court said.

The bench stated that the remand orders issued by the JJB were unlawful and issued without jurisdiction.

The court said that in the “immediate reaction to the accident, the kneejerk reaction, and the public outcry, the CCL’s age was not considered.”

“The CCL is under 18 years old. His age needs to be considered. CCLs are to be considered differently,” the bench said. 

It said that regardless of the gravity of the offence, the court was bound by law to treat him like any other child in conflict with the law, in accordance with the objectives and aims of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The accused is already receiving rehabilitation, which is the primary objective, according to the court, and this will continue. He has also been referred to a psychologist.

The 17-year-old boy’s paternal aunt filed a plea, claiming he was being held unlawfully and asking for his immediate release. The plea led to the order being issued. 

The accident happened in the early hours of May 19. The minor was ordered to remain under the care and supervision of his grandfather and parents after the JJB granted him bail the same day.

Subsequently, the police went to the JJB for a revised bail order. The minor was placed under custody and sent to an observation home by the board on May 22.

In the plea, the juvenile’s aunt argued that the police’s investigation of the youngster was improper due to political pressure and public outcry, negating the main goal of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

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