Punjab & Haryana HC: Mere allegations of serious offense do not automatically warrant denial of bail

punjab and haryana high court Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: February 6, 2024 at 12:53 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has granted bail to a minor accused of rape under the Juvenile Justice Act, emphasizing that mere allegations of a serious offense do not automatically warrant denial of bail.

The Court ruled that the release of a Child in Conflict with Law (CCL) could be denied only if their involvement poses a significant threat to justice, such as in cases of heinous crimes or activities jeopardizing national security.

Justice Sumeet Goel, presiding over the bench, stated that the denial of bail to a CCL should be reserved for situations where the alleged act or offense tears into the social fabric of society or puts the security and sovereignty of the country at peril.

The Court highlighted that the concept of “ends of justice” must be judiciously employed and should not be solely based on the seriousness of the offense.

This decision came in response to a revision plea challenging the denial of bail to a 16-year-old boy accused of rape. The CCL was booked under various sections, including those of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Information Technology Act.

The Court noted that the accused had been in custody since September 2023, and under Section 12 of the Juvenile Justice Act, he was entitled to bail.

Justice Goel clarified that while there is no indefeasible right to bail for a CCL under the Juvenile Justice Act, the Court must carefully consider the circumstances and potential threats before denying bail.

The Court emphasized the need for sensitivity in dealing with cases involving juveniles and the importance of avoiding delays in adjudication.

In this specific case, the court found no tangible material indicating that the release of the CCL would pose a threat, and the social information report showed cordial relationships within the family.

The Court dismissed the state’s argument that the nature of the offense exposed the CCL to danger, stating that such arguments were based on apprehension without corresponding evidence.

Ultimately, the Court granted bail to the minor accused, affirming the principles of the Juvenile Justice Act and highlighting the importance of a nuanced approach in juvenile cases.

Related Post