Boy’s murder in school: SC dismisses plea challenging HC order for trying juvenile accused as adult

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by a juvenile, accused of killing a child at a private school in Gurugram in 2017, challenging the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict which upheld an order for his trial as an adult.

The high court had in May this year upheld the order passed by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) which said the child-in-conflict with law be treated as an adult.

The plea challenging the high court order came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Rajesh Bindal which dismissed it.

Advocate Sushil Tekriwal represented the victim’s family in the top court.

In the plea filed in the apex court, the juvenile had claimed the high court had “mechanically upheld” the orders of the JJB and the Children’s Court, which had dismissed his appeal, and ignored the inherent contradictions in the orders.

“On one hand, the JJB records that the JCL (juvenile in conflict with law) had not faced any abuse or trauma at home, and that his family environment was good and healthy, however, fails to consider that the entire case of the prosecution is based on the fact that the alleged offence was committed since the JCL wanted to get the PTM (parent-teacher meeting) postponed,” it said.

It claimed the JJB’s finding that the juvenile was having sufficient mental and physical capacity, on the mere fact that his mental or physical capacity was not compromised, was again nothing but a conclusion based on “conjecture and surmises”.

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In July last year, the apex court had said the juvenile accused should be examined afresh to decide whether he be prosecuted as an adult or not for the alleged crime.

The top court had dismissed the appeal filed by the father of the deceased child challenging the October 11, 2018 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The high court had then set aside the orders of the JJB and the Children’s court which said the juvenile, accused of killing the child, will be treated as an adult during the trial.

The victim’s body, with the throat slit, was found in the washroom of the school in the Bhondsi in Gurgaon.

The CBI had alleged that the juvenile murdered the student on September 8, 2017 in a bid to get the examinations postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled.

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