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Neeraj Sharma (Minor) Thru. … vs State Of U.P. & Anr. on 28 July, 2021

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

Court No. – 31 Reserved

Case :- CRIMINAL REVISION No. – 568 of 2020

Revisionist :- Neeraj Sharma (Minor) Through Dharam Raj Sharma

Opposite Party :- State Of U.P. Anr.

Counsel for Revisionist :- Vipin Kumar Mishra, Santosh Kumar Srivastava, Tarun Jeet Verma

Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.

Hon’ble Mrs. Saroj Yadav,J.

1. This criminal revision has been preferred by the revisionist/juvenile Neeraj Sharma through his father Dharam Raj Sharma, under Section 102 of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (in short the “Act of 2015”) against the judgement dated 15.10.2020 passed by learned Special Judge (POCSO Act, Ist)/Additional Sessions Judge, Faizabad in Criminal Appeal No. 27 of 2020 as well as order dated 25.09.2020 passed by the Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad in Case Crime No. 226/2020, under Section 376 Indian Penal Code (in short “I.P.C.”), Police Station Haiderganj, District Faizabad.

2. Brief facts necessary for disposal of this Criminal Revision are as follows:-

An F.I.R. bearing Case Crime No. 226 of 2020 was registered on the basis of the written complaint moved by the prosecutrix. In the F.I.R. it has been alleged that the prosecutrix on 26.06.2020 at about 6-7 PM was coming back after doing paddy plantation. Neeraj Sharma, the resident of Sihipur, asked the prosecutrix where was she going. When prosecutrix told him that she was going back to home, Neeraj Sharma asked her to ride on his motor-cycle and gave assurance that he will leave her at home. She sat on his motor-cycle but he took her towards the forest and there he committed rape on her after tying her hands and gagging her mouth.

3. After investigation, charge sheet was submitted against the revisionist Neeraj Sharma. The Court concerned took cognizance of the matter. The revisionist claimed juvenility and was so declared. Thereafter, the revisionist/juvenile moved bail application before the Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad that was rejected vide order dated 25.09.2020. Against that order an appeal was preferred under Section 101 of the Act of 2015 and that appeal too was dismissed by the Appellate Court vide judgment and order dated 15.10.2020. Being aggrieved by the said order/judgment, the revisionist/juvenile preferred the present revision.

4. Heard Sri Santosh Kumar Srivastava, learned counsel for the revisionist and Sri Rao Narendra Singh, learned A.G.A. appearing on behalf of the State respondent. None turned up on behalf of the opposite party no. 2 despite service of notice.

5. Learned counsel for the revisionist/juvenile submitted that the revisionist was declared juvenile by the Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad vide order dated 19.09.2020. The age of the revisionist was found 15 years, 5 months and 25 days at the time of incident. He further submitted that Juvenile Justice Board did not consider properly, the report of District Probationary Officer (in short D.P.O.), while deciding the bail application. There is nothing adverse in the report of D.P.O. No criminal antecedents have been mentioned in the D.P.O. report. He further submitted that revisionist has falsely been implicated in the crime. No injury either external or internal has been found on the body of the victim in her medical examination. He further submitted that the case of revisionist/juvenile does not fall under any of the exceptions provided in Section 12(1) of the Act of 2015. The Juvenile Justice Board and the Appellate Court both have wrongly concluded that the release of the juvenile will bring the juvenile into the contact of the known criminals, expose the juvenile to moral, physical and psychological danger and defeat the ends of justice. The revisionist is in detention since 30.06.2020. The impugned orders may be set aside and the revisionist may be released on bail.

6. Contrary to it, learned A.G.A. submitted that revisionist has committed rape on the victim, who was a widow lady. There is no reason of false implication of the revisionist. There is no illegality or infirmity in the order passed by the Juvenile Justice Board as well as the judgment passed by the Appellate Court, so the revision of the juvenile should be dismissed.

7. Considered the rival submissions and perused the record.

8. In the present matter, it is apparent from the record that the revisionist was declared juvenile by the learned Juvenile Justice Board, finding his age 15 years, 5 months and 25 days at the time of incident.

9. Section 12(1) of the Act of 2015 in this regard lays down as under :-

“12.Bail to a person who is apparently a child alleged to be in conflict with law,-  (1) When any person, who is apparently a child and is alleged to have committed a bailable or non-bailable offence, is apprehended or detained by the police or appears or brought before a Board, such person shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or in any other law for the time being in force, be released on bail with or without surety or placed under the supervision of a probation officer or under the care of any fit person:

Provided that such person shall not be so released if there appears reasonable grounds for believing that the release is likely to bring that person into association with any known criminal or expose the said person to moral, physical or psychological danger or the person’s release would defeat the ends of justice, and the Board shall record the reasons for denying the bail and circumstances that led to such a decision.”

10. Thus, it is law that a bail application of a juvenile can be rejected only:-

(i) If there appears reasonable ground for believing that the release is likely to bring the juvenile into association with any known criminal; or,

(ii) expose the juvenile to moral, physical or psychological danger; or,

(iii) release of the juvenile would defeat the ends of justice.

11. In the present matter the learned Juvenile Justice Board, came to the conclusion that if the juvenile/revisionist was released on bail then there is possibility of his coming in association of known criminals which will cause moral, physical and psychological danger to him, and ends of justice stand defeated.

12. The Appellate Court while confirming the order of the learned Juvenile Justice Board has also confirmed the conclusions given by the learned J.J. Board and dismissed the appeal.

13. Legal position is that, for a juvenile in conflict with law bail is the Rule. The bail application of a juvenile can be rejected exceptionally. 

14. In the report of the D.P.O. available on record, which has been filed through supplementary affidavit, no criminal antecedents of juvenile has been mentioned. The family status is average. There is nothing against the juvenile in the report, so as to bring his case under any of the exceptions provided in proviso to Section 12(1) of the Act of 2015.

15. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, it appears just to set aside the order dated 25.09.2020 passed by the learned Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad as well as the judgment dated 15.10.2020 passed by the Appellate Court.

16. The Revision is allowed.

17. The order passed by the learned Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad dated 25.09.2020 and judgment dated 15.10.2020 passed by Appellate Court are set-aside.

18. Let the revisionist/juvenile (Neeraj Sharma) be released on bail in Case Crime No. 226 of 2020, under Section 376 IPC, Police Station Haiderganj, District Faizabad and be given in custody of his father on his furnishing a personal bond and two solvent sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the Principal Magistrate of Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad subject to  following conditions :-

(i)   That the father of the juvenile shall furnish an undertaking  that upon release on bail, the juvenile will not be permitted to come into contact  or association with any known criminal or be exposed to any moral, physical or psychological danger and he will ensure that the juvenile do not repeat the offence.

(ii)   The father will further furnish an undertaking to the effect that he will encourage the juvenile to pursue his studies.

(iii)  The revisionist  Neeraj Sharma and his father Dharam Raj Sharma, will report to the District Probation Officer on the first Monday of every month with effect from the first  Monday of the month next after release from custody, and if during any calendar month, the first Monday falls on a holiday then on the following working day.

(iv)   The District Probation Officer will keep strict vigil on the activities of the revisionist and regularly draw up his social investigation report that would be submitted to the Juvenile Justice Board, Faizabad on such periodical basis as the Juvenile Justice Board determines.

(v) The party shall file a computer generated copy of such order downloaded from the official website of High Court Allahabad.

(vi) The computer generated copy of such order shall be self attested by the counsel of the party concerned.

(vii)  The concerned Court/Authority/Official shall verify the authenticity of the computerized copy of the order from the official website of High Court Allahabad and shall make a declaration of such verification in writing.

Order Date :- 28.7.2021

Arun (Saroj Yadav, J.)

 

 

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