While Declining Bail To Juvenile Take Into Account Social Investigation Report & Not Merely Police Report: P&H High Court Directs JJ Boards

first_imgNews UpdatesWhile Declining Bail To Juvenile Take Into Account Social Investigation Report & Not Merely Police Report: P&H High Court Directs JJ Boards Sparsh Upadhyay14 Feb 2021 10:15 PMShare This – xThe Punjab & Haryana High Court last week directed the Juvenile Justice Boards across the States of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory, Chandigarh to record their reason for declining bail to a Juvenile and the circumstances that led to such a decision. The Bench of Justice Jaishree Thakur further directed that the said decision shall be founded on the basis of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Punjab & Haryana High Court last week directed the Juvenile Justice Boards across the States of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory, Chandigarh to record their reason for declining bail to a Juvenile and the circumstances that led to such a decision. The Bench of Justice Jaishree Thakur further directed that the said decision shall be founded on the basis of Social Investigation Report submitted by the Probation Officer and any other material available before the Board and not merely on the basis of records of the case and report filed under Section 173 Cr.P.C. of the investigation officer. The matter before the Court The petitioner (aged 15 years) was tried by Juvenile Justice Board for offence registered under Sections 307, 376, 457, 511 IPC at Police Station Division No.7, Ludhiana. He moved an application for grant of bail, being juvenile, which was dismissed. Thereafter, an appeal filed against the said order before the Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana was also dismissed. The petitioner was declined bail on the ground that in case, he is released on bail, he would come in association with known criminals and would be exposed to moral, physical and psychological danger apart from defeating the ends of justice. [NOTE: Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 bail to a Juvenile can be declined only in such cases where reasonable grounds are there for believing that the release is likely to bring the juvenile into association of any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger, or that his release would defeat the ends of justice. Meaning thereby, as per the aforesaid provision, a juvenile can be denied the concession of bail, if any of the three contingencies specified under Section 12 (1) of the J.J. Act is available.] Court’s observations Noting that the order declining bail is mechanical and without adhering to the provisions of Section 12 (1) of the J.J. Act, the Court sai, “I am of the view that both the Courts below have not satisfied the requirement of provisions of Section 12(1) of the J.J. Act and without adhering to material on record, the bail application of the petitioner has been declined.” The Court further opined that the Petitioner is in custody since the date of filing of the FIR and no purpose will be served, in case, he is kept in custody. Accordingly, the instant revision petition was allowed and the impugned orders i.e order dated 22nd June 2020 passed by the Juvenile Justice Board, Ludhiana, and order dated 07th August 2020 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana were set aside. The petitioner was directed to be released on bail subject to his furnishing adequate bail bond/surety bonds amounting to Rs.50,000/- through his natural guardian or near relative to the satisfaction of the Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Ludhiana. Before parting with the order, the Court remarked, “In numerous cases where orders declining bail to the juveniles are being passed by the J.J. Boards in a mechanical manner, being wholly influenced with the gravity of offence and the manner in which the alleged offence is committed by the Child in Conflict with law, and so has the approach been of the Appellate Courts.” Importantly, the Court said, “Bail of a child in conflict with law cannot be rejected in a routine manner and if the bail is declined, a reasoned order has to be given by the Board. A juvenile has to be released on bail mandatorily unless and until the exceptions carved out in proviso to Section 12 (1) of the J.J. Act, 2015 itself are made out.” Importance of the Social Investigation Report It may be noted that as per Section 13 (1) (ii) of the J.J. Act, 2015, the Probation Officer has to be informed as soon as the child is apprehended and to prepare a social investigation report. The J.J. Board calls for a Social Investigation Report, which has been defined in Rule 2 (xvii) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016. This report becomes vital for the inquiry to be done by the Board while passing such orders in relation to such child as it deems fit under sections 17and 18 of this Act. In this backdrop, the Court remarked, “The purpose behind this provision is to enable the J.J. Board to get a glimpse of the social circumstances of the child, before any order regarding bail or of any other nature is passed. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 contain a detailed pro forma of the Social Investigation Report.” Here, it is important to note that the social investigation report is not for discovering evidence regarding the alleged offence. The focus of the social investigation report is to identify and understand the circumstances of the child in question, and what may have led to the alleged crime. Lastly, the Court said, “It is incumbent upon the J.J. Board to take into consideration the social investigation report and make an objective assessment of the reasonable grounds for rejecting the bail application of the juvenile.” Click Here To Download OrderRead OrderNext Storylast_img

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