March 25, 2023

GURUGRAM: The father of the Class 2 student who was murdered at a private school in the city in 2017 on Monday filed an application before the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) for an early hearing to take forward proceedings that will decide if the accused should be treated as a juvenile or not.

The JJB has scheduled a hearing on July 21. The application follows the JJB’s earlier decision to try the juvenile as an adult being set aside last week by the Supreme Court, which pointed to procedural lapses.
The court had in its ruling, however, left it to the JJB to decide if a fresh evaluation would be relevant, since the accused in now 21 years old. On September 8, 2017, the Class 2 student was found dead with his throat slit in the school’s washroom. The accused, a Class XI student at the time, was apprehended by the CBI.
The father of the Class 2 student, meanwhile, filed an application on Monday before the JJB for an early hearing. “We are four and a half years behind in terms of legal proceedings. We are back to the position where we were in December 2017, when JJB has decided to treat the accused as an adult,” said Sushil Tekriwal, the lawyer representing the victim’s father.
For an assessment, the JJB has to constitute a panel comprising a psychologist, a psychiatrist, doctors and domain experts. The panel’s job is to make an assessment of mental, physical and emotional maturity to determine if an accused was able to understand the consequence of the crime committed.
“During the SC hearing, we had raised the point that the juvenile has turned 21 years old, and how useful it would be to make an assessment now. The top court has left it to the JJB to take a call on it,” Tekriwal added.
In December 2017, the JJB had decided to treat the juvenile as an adult. In May 2018, a sessions court in the city upheld this order.
The juvenile accused’s father challenged this at the Punjab and Haryana high court. In October that year, the HC set aside the JJB decision and asked the board to consider afresh if the accused was in a position to understand the consequences of the offence.
The HC judgment was never implemented because the Supreme Court passed a status quo order on an appeal by the CBI and the victim’s father.
The appeal remained pending for three and a half years. The Supreme Court noted in its judgment that none of the parties had made an effort for an early hearing in the case. “Today, after 3½ years, we are not in a position to give an opinion as to whether any further test can be carried out at this stage as the age of the child is now more than 21 years. However, we leave it to the discretion of the Board or the psychologist who may be consulted as to whether any fresh examination would be of any relevance/assistance or not,” the bench of justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Vikram Nath said.
Examining the procedure adopted by the JJB, the bench noted that only the IQ level of the minor was sought from the psychologist and not his ability to understand the consequences and also the circumstances in which the offence was committed.
“The Board and the children’s court apparently were of the view that the mental capacity and the ability to understand the consequences of the offence were one and the same, that is to say that if the child had the mental capacity to commit the offence, then he automatically had the capacity to understand the consequences of the offence. This, in our considered opinion, is a grave error committed by them,” the SC bench said.

1 thought on “Gurugram school murder case: JJB to hear plea from victim’s father | Gurgaon News

  1. We are very disappointed after hearing this case. Children are said to be the reflection of God. But due to wrong upbringing and bad habits they can become worse. Parents should always teach moral ethics and ensure they are away from violence.

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