A juvenile accused of gang rape was recently granted bail by the Bombay High Court, which noted that the youngster had responded favorably to the efforts at rehabilitation and that a child in trouble with the law deserves to be reunited with his family.
The boy, who is now an adult, cannot complete his schooling, Justice Bharati Dangre noted, and his reunion with his family will allow him to reach his full potential.
Dangre noted, “The applicant has positively responded to the rehabilitative efforts, during his stay in the Observation Home, which is in the tune with the Act of 2015. He deserves to be reunited and restored with his family and it would be in his best interest so that he can develop himself with full potential.”
The accused was charged with gang rape, criminal assault, stalking, and criminal intimidation in accordance with the Indian Penal Code and the POCSO Act’s provisions protecting children from sexual offenses in 2020.
The accused was charged with 5 adults of gang rape. In 2021, a charge-sheet was brought against him before the Juvenile Justice Board. The Board twice denied his bail requests before deciding that the case against him could be moved to the Children’s Court after conducting a preliminary investigation.
Following the transfer of the case, the applicant made a bail request in accordance with Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
The Special Court also denied his request for bail because, if granted, he may contact the victim and hurt her. Angered by the decision, the applicant filed a bail request with the High Court. The applicant’s attorney, Maharukh Adenwala, claimed that his protracted confinement in the Observation Home had severely interrupted his life and that he had been deprived of his schooling.
In reality, she said, the Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) assessment indicated that he has a strong potential to succeed given the correct circumstances, direction, support, and education.
She added that the applicant’s uncle was prepared to welcome him and host him in his Mumbai house. In addition, he was eager to be rehabilitated by a Mumbai NGO. Additional Public Prosecutor AA Takalkar opposed the bail request, noting the applicant’s crime.
Advocate Saveena Bedi Sachar for the complainant also opposed the motion, arguing that the applicant did not deserve to be released on bail due to the fact that they were charged with a horrific crime.
The Court observed from the factual circumstances that neither the accused nor his family could demonstrate a risk to the victim. The bench concluded, “The accusations faced by the applicant are undisputedly serious, but he must also derive the benefit of being a ‘child’, despite he being tried as an adult and the benefit of Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 cannot be denied to him.”
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