Merc hit-and-run: Teen challenges JJB order to try as adult

New Delhi: A teenager, who allegedly ran over a 32-year-old marketing executive while driving his father’s Mercedes, today moved a Delhi court challenging the Juvenile Justice Board’s (JJB) order to try him as an adult. The boy, who turned major just four days after the April 4 incident, claimed that at best he could be booked for alleged offence of causing death by rash and negligent act and it was not a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for which he has been charged.

The appeal would come up for hearing tomorrow before Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav.

Advocate Rajiv Mohan, who filed the appeal on the boy’s behalf, said JJB has considered the entire charge sheet filed before it by the Delhi Police without giving its copy to the accused.

“Without supplying copy of charge sheet to the accused, the Presiding Officer of JJB heard the arguments and made up his mind and ordered to try the teenager as an adult by sending it before the trial court,” he said.

“It could only be a case under section 304 A (causing death by rash or negligent act) of IPC and not under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) IPC. His previous offences are of traffic violation and not related to accidents. So it’s not a ground to convert section 304A of IPC into section 304 of IPC,” he said.

The court would also hear tomorrow the main case which was sent to it by JJB that had on June 4 ordered that the boy would face trial as an adult while observing that the offence allegedly committed by him was “heinous”.

The board had passed the order on the police’s plea, filed through Special Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, seeking transfer of the case to trial court to try the accused as an adult.

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 the sessions court.

As per section 2(33) of the Act, “heinous offences” include offences for which minimum punishment under IPC 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 JJB for culpable homicide not amounting to murder which entails a maximum of 10 years jail.

Initially, a case under IPC section 304 A was lodged against him but later 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 Ludlow Castle School 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.
The police had earlier arrested a man who claimed to be the actual driver of the Mercedes at the time of incident. But the man 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 granted bail by the court. The youth had appeared before a Delhi court to surrender and had moved a bail plea which was rejected on the ground that it was a matter of JJB. He was then produced before the board.

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