In a first, a teenager, who allegedly ran over a 32-year-old marketing executive while driving his father’s Mercedes, will now face trial as an adult after the Juvenile Justice Board on Saturday said the offence allegedly committed by him was ‘heinous’.
The presiding officer of the JJB passed the order on the application of Delhi Police which had sought transfer of the case to trial court to try as adult the accused who turned adult just four days after the April 4 incident.
It is the first of its kind case since the amendment in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which allowed the Board to transfer cases of heinous offences by children to sessions court.
As per Section 2(33) of the Act, ‘heinous offences’ include the offences for which minimum punishment under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment for seven years or more.
The police had on May 26 chargesheeted the juvenile in the JJB for the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder entails a maximum of 10 years jail.
The JJB had reserved its order yesterday after hearing for over an hour arguments by Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava who had said the boy belongs to the age group of 16-18 years and this offence comes under definition of ‘heinous crimes’ so his case should be transferred to the trial court.
The JJB today accepted the argument and allowed the plea of Delhi Police, Shrivastava said.
Initially, a case under IPC sections 304A (causing death by rash or negligent act) was lodged against the teenager but, later on he was booked for the alleged offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sent to the reform home.
Police had said in its charge sheet that the boy had fatally run over victim Siddharth Sharma with his father’s Mercedes when Sharma was trying to cross a road near LudlowCastleSchool in north Delhi on April 4.
The final report was filed for alleged offences under IPC Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 279 (driving on a public way so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life) and 337 (causing hurt by an act which endangers human life) against him.
The Board had on April 26 granted bail to the youth who sought the relief to appear in entrance examinations.
Police had said that the car was being driven at a speed of at least 80 km per hour and Sharma was flung several feet into the air by the impact of the crash and landed around 15 metres away from where he stood.
Police had said that after the incident, a group of youths stepped out of the vehicle and fled from the spot abandoning the car there.
It had said that the youth had been penalized four times for violating traffic rules relating to overspeeding, not wearing seat belt and involvement in a minor traffic accident at Maurice Nagar in north Delhi.
The police had earlier arrested a man who claimed to be the actual driver of the Mercedes at the time of incident but he did a volte-face after he got to know the victim was dead.
The driver and the boy’s father, who was also arrested earlier, were also granted bail by the court.
The youth had appeared before a Delhi court to surrender and moved a bail plea which was rejected on the ground that it was a matter of JJB. He was then produced before the board.
Shilpa Mittal, the victim’s sister, expressed satisfaction over the order passed by the JJB.
“I wish I do not face trouble in court now,” she said and voiced hope that the criminal court too would ‘do justice like the JJB’.