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Supreme Court of India
Sanjay Patel vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh on 13 April, 2022
Author: Abhay S. Oka
Bench: A.M. Khanwilkar, Abhay S. Oka
NONREPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION M.A.No.1997 OF 2021 IN SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No.5604 of 2009 Sanjay Patel & Anr. …..Petitioners Versus The State of Uttar Pradesh …..Respondent Sanjay Patel …..Applicant JUDGMENT
Abhay S. Oka, J.
1. The applicantpetitioner no.1 in S.L.P.(Crl.) No.5604 of 2009
(accused no.2) was convicted by the Sessions Court on 16 th May 2006
for the offence punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal
Code. The applicant was sentenced to undergo life imprisonment.
The offence was committed on 8th January 2004. Appeals preferred
Signature Not Verified
by the applicant and others before the High Court of Allahabad were
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dismissed. Being aggrieved, Special Leave Petitions (Crl.) Nos.5604
5605 of 2009 were filed by the applicant and others. By the order
dated 13th August 2009, Special Leave Petition, as far as the present
applicant is concerned, was dismissed by this Court.
The present Miscellaneous Application has been filed by the
applicantpetitioner no.1 contending that the date of his birth is 16 th
May 1986 and, therefore, on the date of commission of the offence, he
was a juvenile. By relying upon various documents such as High
School results declared by the Board of High School and Intermediate
Education, Uttar Pradesh, the applicant has claimed that he was a
juvenile on the date of the incident.
By order dated 31st January 2022, this Court directed the
Juvenile Justice Board, District Maharajganj to hold an inquiry into
the claim of the applicant that he was a juvenile on the date of
commission of the offence. In terms of the said order, after holding
an inquiry, the Juvenile Justice Board has passed an order dated 4 th
March 2022 holding that the correct date of birth of the applicant is
16th May 1986. Therefore, on the date of commission of the offence,
his age was 17 years 07 months and 23 days. Oral and documentary
evidence was adduced before the Juvenile Justice Board during the
course of the inquiry. After considering the documentary evidence on
record, the aforesaid finding has been recorded by the Juvenile
Justice Board. This Order has not been challenged by the State and
is allowed to become final.
When the offence was committed, the provisions of the
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 (‘the 2000 Act’) were
in force. As per the 2000 Act, only the Juvenile Justice Board
constituted under Section 4 thereof had jurisdiction to try a juvenile
in conflict with the law. Under Section 7A of the 2000 Act, an accused
was entitled to raise a claim of juvenility before any Court, even after
the final disposal of the case. Such a claim was required to be
determined in accordance with the provisions of the 2000 Act. Sub
section (2) of Section 7A provided that if after holding an inquiry, the
Court found the accused to be juvenile on the date of commission of
the offence, the Court was under a mandate to forward the juvenile to
the Juvenile Justice Board for passing appropriate orders. Sub
section (2) of Section 7A further provided that in such a case, the
sentence passed by Criminal Court shall be deemed to have no effect
in such a case.
In view of the categorical finding recorded in this case by the
competent Juvenile Justice Board, which is based on documentary
evidence, in view of subsection (2) of Section 7A, the applicant is
required to be forwarded to the Juvenile Justice Board. Under Section
15 of the 2000 Act, the most stringent action which could have been
taken against the applicant, was of sending the applicant to a special
home for a period of three years.
The certificate dated 01st August 2021 issued by Senior
Superintendent of the concerned jail at Lucknow, records that till 01 st
August 2021, the applicant has undergone the sentence for 17 years
and 03 days. Therefore, now it will be unjust to send the applicant to
the Juvenile Justice Board.
Therefore, we allow the application and direct that the
applicant – Sanjay Patel, accused no.2 in Sessions Trial No.28 of
2004 decided by the learned Sessions Judge, Maharajganj – shall be
forthwith set at liberty provided he is not required to be detained
under any other order of the competent Court.
The Miscellaneous Application is allowed in the above terms.
[ABHAY S. OKA]
April 13, 2022