CRLA No. 333 of 2005

Decided On: 11.10.2017

Appellants: Jituna and Ors. Vs. Respondent: State of Odisha

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
I. Mahanty and Krushna Ram Mohapatra


Krushna Ram Mohapatra, J.

1. This is an appeal under Section 374 of the Cr.P.C. filed by the convicts (appellants) assailing the judgment and order of conviction and sentence dated 29.03.2005 passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court-2, Cuttack in Sessions Trial No. 397 of 2005.

2. Occasion to consider this appeal in respect of the appellant No. 1, namely, Jituna @ Jyotiprakash Sahoo arose, when an application in Misc. Case No. 529 of 2015 was filed by appellant No. 1, namely, Jituna @ Jyotiprakash Sahoo contending, inter alia, that appellant No. 1 was born on 10.06.1985. The incident, in which the appellants along with others were convicted, took place 28.11.2002. As such, on the date of alleged occurrence, the appellant No. 1 was only seventeen years five months and eighteen days old. Hence, he was a 'juvenile' within the meaning of Section 2(k) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (for short, 'JJ Act'). In support of proof of his age, appellant No. 1 filed the transfer certificate issued by Kamalakanta Bidyapitha at Kaliaboda, Cuttack, along with the petition (Annexure-1). The appellant No. 1 who had appeared in High School Certificate Examination, 2001 having Roll No. 52RG054 was provided with Memorandum of marks issued by Board of Secondary Education, Odisha, indicated that his date of birth was 10th June, 1985, a copy of which was also annexed to the said petition as Annexure-2. Thus, it was contended that an enquiry in respect of appellant No. 1 should be concluded in terms of the provisions of Rule 12 (3)(a)(i) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 (for short, 'JJ Rules'). Inadvertently, the claim of juvenility could not be raised either before the learned trial Court or at any time before this Court, earlier. Thus, in view of the provisions under Section 7-A(1) of the JJ Act, the petitioner-appellant No. 1 prayed for consideration of his case to declare his status as 'juvenile' under the provisions of the JJ Act and Rules.

3. Taking into consideration the submissions of learned counsel for the parties, this Court, vide order No. 33 dated 11.07.2017 passed in Misc. Case No. 529 of 2015, directed as under:

"Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we direct the Juvenile Justice Board, Cuttack to make an enquiry with regard to juvenility of the petitioner-appellant No. 1, namely, Jituna @ Jyotiprakash Sahoo and to submit a report before this Court within a period of six weeks from the date of presentation of certified copy of this order."

4. Pursuant to order dated 11.07.2017, the appellant No. 1 filed a petition before the JJ Board with a prayer to declare him as juvenile-in-conflict with law (for short 'JCL') within the meaning of Section 2(1) of JJ Act. The petition was registered as Misc. Case No. 1 of 2017 vide order dated 15.07.2007 of the JJ Board. It also received the order of this Court along with relevant records on 29.07.2017. Accordingly, the JJ Board conducted a detailed enquiry as contemplated under Section 7-A(1) of JJ Act and Rule 12 of the JJ Rules by recording the statements of the Deputy Secretary, Board of Secretary Education, Odisha, Central Zone, Cuttack (PW-1), Headmaster, Kamalakanta Vidyapitha, Kaliaboda, Cuttack (PW-2), the City Health Officer-cum-Registrar Birth and Death, Municipal Corporation, Cuttack (PW-3) as well as father of the appellant No. 1 (PW-4). The JJ Board also considered the documents filed, such as, relevant volume of tabulation register containing Centre Code from 47RG to 52 RG of annual High School Certificate Examination, 2007 (Ext. 1), which contained the roll number of the appellant No. 1 (52 RG054), admission register in respect of appellant No. 1 (Ext.........