Court sets aside Juvenile Justice Board order, grants Bail to Juvenile in Theft Case

A Special Court earlier this week set aside the order of a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), which had denied bail to a 17-year-old boy on the apprehension that he may come in contact with anti-social elements.

The Court granted bail to the minor, who had spent over 3 months in jail in a theft case, even as the adult co-accused in the case were released on bail.

The special court said that the JJB had not appreciated the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection) Act while rejecting his bail application.

It added that as per provisions of the Act, every child is entitled to be released on bail except in circumstances where his release will bring him in association with any known criminal or expose him to moral, physical or psychological danger, or the release would defeat the ends of justice.

“There is no sufficient material on record to show that the appellant/child will come into the association with any known criminal as the full particulars of the criminal with whom the delinquent appellant is likely to come into association with,” the special court said, adding that the JJB had erred in not releasing the juvenile on bail.

The Court further said that the child in conflict with law would get the benefit of Section 12 (1) of the Act, which contains the principles for bail.

The N M Joshi Marg police had booked four youngsters, including the teen, for allegedly robbing a shop early last year at Phoenix mall in central Mumbai & stealing an iPhone along with Rs 700. The teen was apprehended on December 1, last year.

The 17-year-old had told the JJB that the allegations are false, as the shopkeeper had not been able to give any proof of the iPhone being stolen.

His mother had also submitted that she was ready to take his responsibility. The JJB had rejected the 17 year old’s first bail plea in January after an evaluation as per the Act.

It had said that the child should be continued to be kept at the observation home for his own safety & prevent him from coming in contact with anti-social elements

The JJB had also rejected his bail plea twice. The adult accused arrested in the case, however, were granted bail with the court observing that the police had recovered the iPhone & the cash alleged to have been stolen.

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