PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT
Before :- Satish Kumar Mittal, J.
Criminal Revision No. 1970 of 2004.
Baljinder alias Bantu Versus U.T. Chandigarh,D/d. 8.12.2004
For the Petitioner :- Mr. Om Pal Sharma, Advocate.
For the Respondent :- Mr. Madan Sandhu, Advocate.
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, Section
Cases referred :Gopinath Ghosh v. State of West Bengal, 1984(1) Recent Criminal Reports 444.
Manmohan Singh v. State of Punjab, 2004(2) Recent Criminal Reports 89.
Shabuddin @ Shabboo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2003(1) RCR 498.
Satish Kumar Mittal, J. - Petitioner Baljinder alias Bantu, who is aged about 15 years and admittedly a juvenile, has filed this criminal revision against the order dated 15.9.2004, passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, whereby the appeal filed by him against the order dated 19.8.2004, passed by Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Court, Chandigarh, declining bail to him, has been dismissed.
2. Both the Courts below have declined bail to the petitioner on the ground that his release will defeat the ends of justice as he has committed the alleged offence in a barbaric manner. In this case, the petitioner is alleged to have put the kerosene oil on the body of Reena, aged 13 years, and set her on fire, when she refused to develop love affairs with him and have wrong things with him.
3. Counsel for the petitioner contends that while considering the application of bail of a juvenile, nature of the offence alleged to have been committed by him is not to be seen and granting of bail to a juvenile is mandatory. Bail to him can only be declined if there are reasonable grounds for believing that his release is likely to bring him in association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger or that his release would defeat the ends of justice. He further submits none of the exceptional grounds is existing in this case, as the petitioner is only 15/16 years old and there is no likelihood of his being fallen in the bad company if he is released on bail. In support of his contentions counsel for the petitioner relied upon a decision of the Hon'ble Apex Court in Gopinath Ghosh v. The State of West Bengal, 1984(1) Recent Criminal Reports 444, a decision of this Court in Manmohan Singh v. State of Punjab, 2004(2) Recent Criminal Reports 89 and another decision of the Allahabad High Court in Shabuddin @ Shabboo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2003(1) RCJ 498. Counsel for the petitioner contends that the petitioner is in custody since 19.6.2004.
4. On the other hand, counsel for the respondent State has opposed the prayer of the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner has committed heinous crime and his release will defeat interest of justice.
5. After hearing counsel for the parties, I am of the opinion that both the Courts below have not objectively assessed the entire situation and have not properly considered case of the petitioner in light of Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. In this case, admittedly, the petitioner is a juvenile. He is not involved in any other crime and was residing with his family. Therefore, his release will not bring him in bad company or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger. Merely, because he is alleged to have committed a heinous crime, it cannot be said that his release will defeat the ends of justice. In my opinion, by declining bail to the petitioner, the very purpose of the Act will be defeated. This Court in Manmohan Singh's case (supra) has already held that it is mandatory for the juvenile Court to release a juvenile on bail with or without surety if such a juvenile is arrested or detained or appears or is brought before a Juvenile Board in a bailable or non-bailable offence, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure.
6. In view of the aforesaid discussion, this revision petition is allowed. The impugned orders are set aside and the petitioner is ordered to be released on bail to the satisfaction of Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Court, Chandigarh.