Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court in a landmark judgment has held that the plea of juvenility can be raised even after 22 years during trial.
It has permitted a sister-in law, who was a minor in 2000 at the time of dowry death, to move the plea before the concerned court to get her case transferred to the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) .
Pronouncing the verdict, a bench of Justice Shree Prakash Singh said, “The intent of the legislature is very clear from bare reading of the provisions of Section 7(A) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, which permits the accused to take the plea of being juvenile at the time of incident, seeking benefit of the Act at any stage of the case may it be pretrial, trial or even appeal.”
With this observation, the bench set aside the order of a lower court and asked the petitioner to file her plea of juvenility along with certified court of the order in the said court which would decide it within the next 45 days.
The bench passed the order recently while deciding the plea of the sister-in-law, the petitioner, who alleged she was implicated in the case during the year 2000 when she was only 13. She married and was living with her husband.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Sitapur, has issued a non-bailable warrant against her in the case.
When she filed her plea seeking transfer of case to JJB, CJM rejected the plea on December 7, 2022, saying that the plea was raised after 22 years.