Bombay High Court Sets Man Free After 19 Years In Jail; Was Minor When He Raped 3-Year-Old

Bombay High Court Sets Man Free After 19 Years In Jail; Was Minor When He Raped 3-Year-Old

Delinquent can be sent to special home for three years or until the person attains majority, says Juvenile Justice Act

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 06:14 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

Considering that the convict was a juvenile at the time of raping a three-year-old girl and has already spent 19 years behind prison, the Bombay High Court recently directed the release of the 36-year-old man in the 2005 case.

Case details

He raped the neighbour girl on January 16, 2005 and was awarded life imprisonment by a special court eleven months later. The man did not challenge his conviction back then. However, in 2019, he approached the state government, seeking early release on the grounds of completing 14 years of imprisonment. The plea was dismissed, citing the gravity of the offence. Subsequently, the convict moved the high court.

Pending hearing in the petition, he filed an application seeking early release, stating that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence. To corroborate his statement, he produced his school leaving certificate issued by a primary school in Bankati Vasti, Uttar Pradesh. The HC, in July 2022, asked the state to verify his claim. Accordingly, the Palghar police visited the man's school and inquired about the certificate. The state filed an affidavit in August 2023, confirming that as per the school document, the man was a juvenile when he committed the crime.

Man was only 16 years and 9 months at the time of the offence

Defence Advocate MM Chaudhari underlined that the man was only 16 years and 9 months at the time of the offence. Hence, he would be covered as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. The Act provides that the Juvenile Justice Board can direct that a minor convict be sent to a special home for a period of three years or until s/he ceases to be a juvenile, whichever is later.

The HC said, “It is an admitted fact that the applicant has already undergone more than three years of actual imprisonment (in accordance with the aforesaid Act). In view thereof, he is entitled to be released from jail forthwith.”

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