Sanjay Patel & Anr. VS The State of Uttar Pradesh

Sanjay Patel & Anr. VS The State of Uttar Pradesh

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले

M.A.No.1997 OF 2021
Sanjay Patel & Anr. …..Petitioners
The State of Uttar Pradesh                        …..Respondent
Sanjay Patel …..Applicant
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 16th 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
by the applicant and others before the High Court of Allahabad were
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 16th
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 4th
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.  Subsection (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.   Subsection (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 01st
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]
New Delhi
April 13, 2022


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