HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 77
Case :- CRIMINAL REVISION No. – 3839 of 2019
Revisionist :- Suraj Yadav (Juveline Delinquent)
Opposite Party :- State of U.P. and Another
Counsel for Revisionist :- Babu Ram Yadav,Pradeep Kumar Yadav
Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.
Hon’ble Sanjay Kumar Singh,J.
Heard learned counsel for the revisionist and learned Additional Government Advocate representing the State of U.P. and perused the record of the case. None appears on behalf of the opposite party no.2 despite of service of notice.
The present criminal revision under Section 102 of Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2015 has been preferred against the judgment and order dated 20.09.2019 passed by VIIth Additional Session Judge/Special Judge (POCSO Act), Jaunpur, in Criminal Appeal No. 99 of 2019 (Suraj Yadav Vs. State of U.P.), and against order dated 29.08.2019 passed by Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Jaunpur in Case Crime No. 148 of 2018, under sections 376 IPC and section 3/4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offencs Act, Police Station Kerakat, District Jaunpur, whereby the learned Juvenile Justice Board, Jaunpur as well as learned appellate court refused the prayer of bail of accused-revisionist.
It is submitted by the learned counsel for the revisionist that on 25.05.2018 opposite party No. 2 lodged first information report with regard to the incident alleged to have been taken place on 23.05.2018 for the offence under sections 376 IPC and section 3/4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act against the revisionist. It is further submitted that though the victim in her statement under section 164 Cr.P.C. has made allegation reiterating the averments as mentioned in the first information report, but did not specifically named the revisionist.
Learned counsel for the revisionist assailing the impugned orders submits that the revisionist was a juvenile on the date of the alleged incident dated 23.05.2018 and he has been declared juvenile vide order dated 23.07.2019 of Juvenile Justice Board Jaunpur treating the age of revisionist as 17 years 6 months and 2 days on the date of alleged incident. It is next submitted that aforesaid order dated 23.07.2019 has attained finality. It is also not disputed that the revisionist has remained confined at a child observation home since 31.05.2018, which is for a period of more than one year, eight months twelve days as against the maximum sentence that he may suffer, if found guilty, being of three years.
As to the offence alleged, it is submitted that the revisionist has falsely been implicated in the case with ulterior motive. In this regard, it is further stated that proper investigation was not conducted by the police and thus the revisionist had wrongly been charged with the offence.
It has been submitted that the Social Investigation Report filed in this case also does not raise any specific or strong objection against the revisionist being released and only general and unfounded objections and observation have been made therein. It is further being emphasized that the revisionist does not have any criminal history. Lastly, it is submitted that there is no material on record for believing that the release of revisionist is likely to bring him into association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, psychological danger, therefore, aforesaid impugned orders are not sustainable and liable to be set aside and revisionist is entitled to be released on bail in view of Section 12 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child) Act, 2015.
LearnedAdditional Government Advocate has vehemently opposed the present revision. It has thus been submitted, merely because the revisionist is a juvenile it would not entitle him to bail without going into the gravity of the offence, the nature of the crime. He submits, the bail sought for has been rightly refused in view of Section 12(1) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child) Act, 2015. Under the facts and circumstances of the case.
Having considered the arguments so advanced by learned counsel for the parties, it is seen that while it is true that a juvenile offender is not entitled as of right to be enlarged on bail, irrespective of any other fact or circumstance, however, it also cannot be denied that in view of specific and special legislative intent and intervention, refusal of bail in the case of a juvenile may be made only for specific reasons and circumstance. Otherwise, a general legislative presumption does appear to exist under the scheme of the Act that the welfare of alleged juvenile offender would be better served without he being confined for long duration. Here, the revisionist has remained confined for more than one year eight months and twelve days. If the revisionist would be finally held guilty, the maximum punishment to be awarded would not exceed three years.
The Court has to see whether the opinion of the learned appellate Court as well as Juvenile Justice Board recorded in the impugned judgment and orders are in consonance with the provision of Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Section 12 of the aforesaid Act lays down three contingencies in which bail could be refused to juvenile. They are:-
(1) if the release is likely to bring him into association with any known criminal, or
(2) expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger, or
(3) that his release would defeat the ends of justice.
Gravity of the offence has not been mentioned as a ground for rejection of bail in Section 12 of the aforesaid Act. Though the prayer for bail of the revisionist has been opposed by learned A.G.A., but he could not demonstrate from the record that there existed any of the grounds on which bail application of a juvenile could be rejected keeping in view the provisions of Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Considering the above, it appears that the findings recorded by the learned Court below are erroneous and cannot be sustained. The aforesaid impugned orders dated 20.09.2019 and 29.08.2019 are hereby set aside.
Accordingly, the present criminal revision is allowed.
Let the revisionist Suraj Yadav, involved in the aforesaid case crime be released on bail on his furnishing a personal bond with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned with the following conditions:-
(i) The revisionist shall not tamper with the evidence or threaten the witnesses;
(ii) The revisionist through guardian shall file an undertaking to the effect that he shall not seek any adjournment on the date fixed for evidence when the witnesses are present in court. In case of default of this condition, it shall be open for the trial Court to treat it as abuse of liberty of bail and pass orders in accordance with law;
(iii) The revisionist through guardian shall remain present before the trial Court on each date fixed, either personally or through his counsel. In case of his absence, without sufficient cause, the trial Court may proceed against him under Section 229-A of the Indian Penal Code.
Order Date :- 12.2.2020