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The social report must be considered while deciding juvenile’s bail plea: Punjab & Haryana High Court

The decision for grant or rejection of bail shall be founded on the basis of the 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. This Judgment was held by P&H High Court in the case of Vishnu v. State of Haryana [CRR-233 of 2021 (O & M)] by Hon’ble Single Judge Bench Justice Suvir Sehgal.

In the instant case, the Court was dealing with criminal application for setting aside of an order passed by the JJ Board, rejecting the Petitioner-child’s bail application and order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Rohtak whereby appeal filed against the said order has been dismissed.

During the course of arguments, the respondents could neither show nor refer to any material to explain as to how in case the petitioner is enlarged on bail, would he be exposed to moral, physical or psychological danger or would come in contact with known criminals.

While clearing the contentions the court points “in case a juvenile is found guilty and convicted, the maximum period that he can be ordered to spend in a Special Home under Section 18 (1) (f) of the Act is three years. The petitioner has spent more than one year in incarceration, therefore, no purpose would be served in detaining the petitioner any further”

While allowing the bail application the learned court noted that the Petitioner found him to be a normal child, who appeared to have committed the offence under peer group influence. “It has been recorded in the report that his relations with his family members, friends, teachers and classmates are cordial. As per the report, the petitioner, who is a matriculate, comes across as a normal child. It has been further noticed that the petitioner is neither a member of any gang nor involved in drug peddling nor does he have any criminal past. The reason for the alleged offence has been given as peer group influence and the petitioner appears to be physically fit and mentally sound as reported by his family.”

The result of the report which has been submitted by the Legal-cum-Probation Officer, District Child Protection Unit, Rohtakdeserves to be noticed, the order stated. The Bench further, reiterated that under Section 12 of the JJ Act, grant of bail to a child in conflict with law is a rule and rejection of the same is an exception.

Click here for the Judgment

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