Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Thanks to juvenile law, man walks free 39 years after murder

Supreme Court says the 55-year-old man was a juvenile on the date of crime

The Supreme Court has ordered the release of a life convict who spent 10 years in jail for a murder he committed about four decades ago.
In a judgment on August 7, a Bench led by Justice P. C. Ghose set the 55-year-old man free on finding that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime. Ram Narain fatally shot Nathi Lal on December 21, 1976. In 2004, the Supreme Court confirmed he was guilty and upheld the life sentence.
School certificate
However, nine years later, in 2013, Narain moved the Juvenile Justice Board claiming that he was a minor at the time of the incident. To prove his point, he produced a school certificate that showed his date of birth was December 25, 1960. After going through the records, the Board decided that Narain, at the time of the crime, was 15 years 11 months 26 days, thus making him a juvenile.
Armed with this finding, Narain moved the apex court again, where he argued that he could not produce the school certificate during the trial and this had led to his being tried as an adult.
“The petitioner-applicant should get the benefit under the said Juvenile Justice Act since he was a juvenile on the date of commission of the offence,” the Bench ordered. It directed the Agra jail authorities to release him.
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