Two juveniles to be tried as adults in murder case as court overturns JJB order

08:22 PM Sep 02, 2023 | PTI |

New Delhi: In a rare order, a Delhi court has directed the prosecution of two juveniles, both around 17 years of age, as adults in a murder case, noting that the they were ”emboldened” to commit the brutal crime after being let off early in another murder case.


Taking note of the physical and mental capacity of the accused besides the ”brutality” of the crime, Additional Sessions Judge Savitri Attri set aside an order of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) which, in September last year, had held that the two juveniles be tried as Children in Conflict with Law (CCL) and not as adults.

The court noted that the two were well aware of the JJB proceedings and executed their conspiracy to murder the victim ”in a perfectly planned manner”.

According to the prosecution, both juveniles, aged 17 years and two months, had murdered one Atma Ram’s son on May 9, 2022.

The court, in its recent order, referred to the postmortem report, according to which the deceased had suffered four fractures and 33 injuries, including 20 lacerated wounds, and said it was “sufficient to show the brutality.” One of the juveniles had hit the victim first with a sauce bottle on his head, then with a big stone on his chest and finally clobbered him with the butt of a country-made pistol, it said. The other juvenile also “actively participated” in the murder, the prosecution added.


It was alleged that one of the juveniles wanted to take revenge as he was earlier beaten up by the victim who had also circulated a video of the incident.

Allowing the appeal of the father of the deceased against the JJB order, the sessions court said both juveniles not only had the physical and mental capacity to commit the murder but they also understood the consequences of their action.

It said the manner in which they committed the offence left no doubt that they deserved to be tried as adults.

Both juveniles were involved previously in another murder case and the present offence had been committed in a pre-planned manner with proper strategy, Atmaram said in his appeal.

Both juveniles twisted their versions during assessment by the psychologist and introduced a false story regarding being drunk at the time of the incident, the appeal said.

When the victim tried to escape on his motorcycle, the juveniles snatched his bike key and beat him again, leaving no scope for him to save his life, the court said.

“Considering the manner in which the alleged incident was committed is sufficient to show that CCLs had possessed the physical and mental capacity to commit the offence. They had executed their conspiracy to murder the deceased in a perfectly planned manner,” the court said.

It also took note of the psychologist’s opinion, according to which the sense of judgment of both juveniles was intact and they understood the consequences of their action.

But they were “remorseless and emotionally unconcerned” for the victim and his family, it said.

The court said the juveniles had concocted the story about them being drunk at the time of the incident.

“I am satisfied that they have introduced the story of their being drunk while committing offence, in order to save themselves from the rigours of being tried as adults as there is a drastic difference between trial and punishment in a heinous case between a person being tried as child vis-a-vis he being tried as adult,” the judge said.

ASJ Attri noted various reports including the social background report, social investigation report, physical mental drug assessment report and preliminary assessment report.

She said according to the reports both were aware of the consequences of their act but took the crime leniently or casually as one of the juveniles was let off after just four days of detention in the previous murder case. The other CCL was also let off quite soon.

This emboldened them to commit the second murder and the juveniles were observed to be well aware of the JJB proceedings, including the maximum punishment awardable in heinous offence, the judge said.

“I am satisfied that both CCLs not only had the physical and mental capacity to commit the offence but also understood the near and far consequences of their action,” the court said.

“Further, a detailed account of the manner in which the offence was committed leaves no doubt in mind to conclude that they deserve to be tried as adults. Accordingly, the present appeal is allowed,” the court added.


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