States & UTs

    Pune car crash: Bombay HC orders release of minor accused, says his age needs to be considered

    The Hawk
    June25/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The court emphasized the need to consider the minor's age under the Juvenile Justice Act and ordered his release to his paternal aunt’s custody.

    Pune car crash

    Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday ordered that a 17-year-old boy allegedly involved in the Porsche car accident in Pune last month be released immediately from an observation home.

    The teen, who the police claim was drunk and driving the luxury car when it hit a two-wheeler in the early hours of May 19 killing two techies, was lodged at an observation home in Maharashtra's Pune city.

    A division bench of Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande quashed the orders issued by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) remanding the minor to the observation home.

    "We allow the petition and order his release. The CCL (Child in Conflict with Law) shall be in the care and custody of the petitioner (paternal aunt)," the court said.

    The bench noted the JJB's remand orders were illegal and passed without jurisdiction.

    The court said amid the "immediate reaction to the accident, the kneejerk reaction and the public outcry, the CCL's age was not considered."

    "The CCL is under 18 years old. His age needs to be considered," the bench said.

    It said the court was bound by law, the aims and objectives of the Juvenile Justice Act and must treat him as any child in conflict with law separately from adult, despite the seriousness of the crime.

    "CCLs are to be considered differently," the HC said.

    The court said the accused is already under rehabilitation, which is the primary objective, and he is already referred to a psychologist and the same shall be continued.

    The order was passed in a plea filed by the 17-year-old boy's paternal aunt, who claimed he was illegally detained and sought his immediate release.

    The accident took place in the early hours of May 19. The boy was granted bail the same day by the JJB and ordered to be under the care and supervision of his parents and grandfather.

    The police later filed an application before the JJB, seeking amendment of the bail order.

    On May 22, the board ordered the boy to be taken into custody and remanded him to an observation home.

    The boy's aunt in the plea claimed that because of the public uproar coupled with political agenda, the police deviated from the right course of investigation with regard to the minor boy, thus defeating the entire purpose of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.