Delhi hit-and-run: Court asks police to reply to minor’s plea

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) A court here on Friday asked Delhi Police to respond to a minor’s plea challenging a Juvenile Justice Board order that he should be tried as an adult in a case in which he is accused of running over and killing Siddharth Sharma.

Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav asked Delhi Police to file its reply to the minor’s plea and fixed July 2 as the next date for hearing.

The minor on Thursday moved a plea before a sessions court challenging the board’s order and said the alleged offence does not fall under the category of a heinous crime.

His counsel, Rajiv Mohan and Abhimanyu Kampani, said the juvenile should be tried under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) instead of Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

In the first prosecution under the amended Juvenile Justice Act, the board on Saturday ordered that the minor will be tried as an adult, allowing the police’s plea. The offender was a few days short of 18 at the time of the incident, and the offence was defined as a heinous crime.

The juvenile was driving a Mercedes car at a very high speed when he mowed down Siddharth Sharma in Civil Lines area in north Delhi on April 4 evening.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2015, allows for juveniles 16 years or older to be tried as adults for heinous offences like rape and murder.

The act was amended following public outrage after one of the accused in the Nirbhaya gang rape case of December 16, 2012, was exempted from trial on the ground that he was not yet 18 at the time the crime was committed.

In its chargesheet filed on May 26, the police charged the juvenile with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which entails a maximum of 10 years in jail.

Delhi Police apprehended the minor on April 5, a day after he knocked down and ran over Sharma.

The minor was freed on bail as he was booked for causing death by negligence. Later, police charged him with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

In the final investigation report, police charged the juvenile with offences under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 279 (driving on a public way so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life) and 337 (causing hurt by an act which endangers human life).

The juvenile’s father was arrested under Section 304 (abetting culpable homicide not amounting to murder) for letting his minor son drive despite knowing he had caused an accident earlier. The father later was freed on bail.

Police earlier told the court that CCTV footage showed that the teenager was driving his car at a high speed in a residential area.



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