Read Order: Suraj v. State of Haryana

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, February 21, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to a juvenile who was accused of criminal intimidation, causing hurt while committing robbery and receiving stolen property, on the ground that the accused- juvenile was in custody since September,2021 and that the impugned orders as also the social inquiry report, failed to show how and in what manner, there were chances of the juvenile getting exposed to social, moral, physical or psychological danger. 

In the instant case, an FIR was registered against the accused- petitioner under Sections 379-B, 34 and 506 IPC (Sections 201, 394, 411 IPC added later on and Section 379-B deleted). Thereafter, a bail application was filed by the accused however, the same was dismissed by the Court of Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Panipat. Aggrieved, the accused filed an appeal which was also dismissed by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Panipat. 

Thus, the Bench of Justice Jaishree Thakur was approached by the petitioner to decide a revision petition against the dismissal of the accused/petitioner’s bail plea as also the dismissal of his appeal. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that the petitioner was falsely implicated in the case as no recovery was effected from him and that there was a delay of one day in registration of the FIR. The Counsel also submitted that the petitioner was in custody since September of 2021 and being a juvenile, he was entitled to bail as per Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

The State counsel opposed the grant of bail to the petitioner by contending that the order passed by the Principal Magistrate, JJ Board, Panipat was well reasoned wherein it was observed that there were high chances of the petitioner getting exposed to social, moral, physical and psychological danger.

After having perused the impugned orders and considering the rival submissions, the Court observed that as per the social enquiry report submitted by the Probation Officer, Panipat, the petitioner herein studied up to 10th standard and was residing with his parents, who earned their livelihood by doing labour work. It was also mentioned in the said report that the minor was having a good status, however, during the period of lockdown, he fell into bad company. 

The Court further observed that it was nowhere reflected either in the social enquiry report or the order passed by the Juvenile Justice Board, Panipat as to how and in what manner, there were chances of juvenile being exposed to social, moral, physical or psychological danger or that his release would defeat the ends of justice. 

Rather, the Court added that in the social investigation report, the attitude of the child towards his friends was shown normal and observations of neighbors towards the child were written as positive. Also, the Court noted that the report stated that the child was not used by any gangs or adults or group of adults or for drug peddling.

Therefore, keeping in view the fact that the petitioner was in custody since September 2021 and taking into consideration the social investigation report, the impugned orders were set aside. 

The instant petition was allowed and the petitioner was directed to be released on regular bail on his execution of personal/surety bonds of Rs 25,000 each to the satisfaction of the concerned Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board.

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