A juvenile accused of murder has been denied bail by a Delhi court which has said his life was in danger outside the observation home and there were possibilities that he could further commit a crime. The court, which upheld the order of a juvenile justice board (JJB) dismissing his earlier bail plea, said if he was granted the relief, he could tamper with evidence. The boy, who was just over 15-year-old at the time of the offence on March 24, was accused in a case of the murder of one Vishal Suri. The dispute was between rival groups and there were other co-accused who were absconding. Additional Sessions Judge Ashwani Kumar Sarpal dismissed the plea observing that though the JJ Act makes it mandatory to grant bail to a juvenile, it can be denied if there were reasons to believe that he can come in contact with any known criminal.
“The bail can be refused only if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that the release is likely to bring that person into association with any known criminal and to expose to moral, physical or psychological danger or his release would defeat the ends of justice,” the court said. Regarding the claim of the juvenile’s father that he would send his son to a boarding school out of Delhi, the court said he was a tempo driver earning Rs 15,000 per month who has nopt explained how would he afford to do that. “Moreover, living off the juvenile out of Delhi would create more chance to be accessed and approached by his own gang members or by opposite gang members.
“In both situations, the danger to life and association with criminals will cause much harm to him. He is already involved in the highly serious offence of murder and his five co accused are still absconding,” the court said. It said the apprehension of juvenile’s counsel that his studies would be affected if not released on bail was without any basis as he can be provided books by the observation home authorities and can be facilitated to take any exams. The court noted that though a social background report given by child welfare police officer and social investigation report of the probation officer were in favor of the minor, some observations were against him, including his smoking habit, his addicted friends, and criminal background.
According to the eyewitnesses of the incident, the juvenile and others came in cars in Preet Vihar area in east Delhi in the early hours and started firing at the opposite gang members including the victim and his companions. Three eye witnesses who were accompanied with the victim ran away while Suri died due to bullet injuries.