Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J. of the Patna High Court allowed a petition that sought to quash an order of the Sessions court since the person convicted was juvenile and was granted protection under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
The petitioner was held accused of forming an unlawful assembly and damaging the properties of the informant. Suitably, a case was sought under the provisions of Sections 147,148,149,323,341,324 and Section 307 of the Penal Code, 1860. This was further accompanied by Section 27 of the Arms Act,1959. This particular judgment was looked into by the Juvenile Justice Board, West Champaran Bettiah. After the suit, the court ordered the petitioner to return to his father’s care. Thus aggrieved, the petitioner appealed to the Sessions Court for a re-evaluation. The Sessions Court concluded differently and held the petitioner guilty under Sections 149 and 307 of the IPC.
The counsel representing the petitioner, Sanjay Kumar, submitted that on the date of occurrence of this decree, the petitioner was 15 years old, and thus the board was bound to conclude the enquiry without holding out anything against the petitioner. Although there was an involvement of the petitioner with an unlawful assembly, the petitioner did not have any direct involvement in any overt act. There were no delinquency records as well and no complaints were lodged either stating any ill behavior. The petitioner was bound to be acquitted and released and the appellate court had clearly crossed the thresholds of its power. Also, the State had not filed an appeal, thus the conviction of the juvenile was entirely uncalled for.
The Patna High Court upon perusal of the circumstances presented in front of the court held that Sessions Court in pronouncing a decree of conviction as the State had not moved an appeal. The court should also have considered the burning topic of juvenility in this case. The HC thus honoured the appeal on two foremost grounds.
Case reference- Md. Isteyak v. State of Bihar, Criminal Revision no. 334 of 2018, decided on 08/11/2019)