Mumbai: An advocate of the Bombay High Court will be filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court for juveniles, who are being sent to borstal schools for reformation, turning into heinous criminals due to the jail-like environment at the detention centre.
According to Dipak Chattopadhyay, an advocate of the Bombay High Court, “Instead of the juveniles being reformed, they are turning into heinous criminals after serving their sentence at the borstals. Juveniles should not be sent to borstals where the environment is conducive to that of jails. They should be sent to observation homes and special children’s home only as per the Juvenile Justice Act. The rules for ‘place of safety’ for juveniles are not followed at the borstals. There is not a single case so far where the juveniles have reformed after being reintegrated into the society and turning into good human beings. Instead these juveniles become more violent and further commit heinous crimes. There is no provision for separating the habitual offenders of grievous offences from petty criminals. The petty criminals get influenced by the habitual offenders since there is no proper system in place.”
Borstal schools are correctional homes where offenders within the age group of 16 to 21 years are housed. The schools are part of the prison system which is governed under the Borstal schools Act, 1928.
As per the data acquired by Chattopadhyay under the Right to Information Act, from April 2017 to March 31, 2018, a juvenile from Mumbai who was arrested for rape has been housed at the borstal. 21 juveniles were kept at the Nashik borstal school from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. 15 juveniles were from Pune, one from Nashik, three juveniles from Mumbai and two from Satara. From April 1, 2016 to March 31,2017, ten juveniles were housed at the borstal in fresh cases of murder and rape out of which three are from Satara, two from Jalna, one juvenile each from Mumbai, Thane and Jalgaon and two from Pune.
As per the data made available by the Nashik borstal school, the petty offence criminals convicted for theft (Section 380), robbery (Section 392), intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace (Section 504), tampering with proper mark with intent to cause injury (Section 489) have been kept along with heinous criminals convicted for murder, rape, attempt to murder, abetment of suicide and sodomy.
Akash Jadhav (23) a habitual offender who was earlier convicted in the Shakti mills gang-rape case for raping a photo journalist, has been arrested four times for a criminal offence by the NM Joshi Marg police station, after being released from Nashik borstal. Jadhav, a resident of Bhandup was first arrested in 2013 for the gang rape. He was sent to a correction home in Nashik. He was released in July 2017. Since then, he has taken to crime again and was booked in an abduction and assault case in September 2017. Jadhav was arrested a third time after three years confinement at the Nashik borstal school. In July 2014, the Juvenile Justice Board, Mumbai, directed that Jadhav, who was a minor then be sent to Nashik borstal school for reformation. After his release, on September 23, 2017, Jadhav was arrested by the NM Joshi Marg police for assaulting Ajay Moricha, a businessma,n at Lower Parel along with his gang of ‘Bombay Bhais’, a group created by him on WhatsApp. Jadhav had tried to extort Rs. 50000 from him and his brothers Amit Matkar and Harish Matkar.
After being released on bail for assaulting a waiter in April, Jadhav was re-arrested. Matkar (42) had registered an FIR since he was threatened by Jadhav and his friend Ashwin Khandekar. As per Matkar’s complaint, on April 4, Jadhav and Khandekar found him at a paan-bidi shop near Subhash Hotel on NM Joshi Marg. The duo pushed Matkar and allegedly threatened him with a revolver. He poked the revolver in Matkar’s stomach and asked, ‘Should I shoot you?'” Matkar said in his complaint. Khandekar asked Jadhav to leave Matkar alone, after which the duo left.
A week later when Balaram Kadam, a waiter, was returning home from work, Jadhav along with his accomplices Siddhesh Tondwalkar and Akash Gadkari beat up Kadam at Dhobi Ghat. Jadhav was in an inebriated condition when he assaulted Kadam. Jadhav and his friends abused Kadam and threatened to kill him if they saw him again in the area.