Anticipatory Bail Application No. 277 of 2022
Raman & Manthan Vs The State of Maharashtra
Date of Order:
Justice Sarang V. Kotwal and Justice Bharat P. Deshpande
Raman & Manthan – Petitioners
The State of Maharashtra – Respondents
According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), a juvenile who is in trouble with the law may submit a request for anticipatory bail as laid out under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), as heldby the Bombay High Court.
- The plea for anticipatory bail made by two siblings, ages 16 and 14, was denied by a single judge bench, who noted that the petitioners fell under the JJ Act's description of "Child in conflict with law," and as a result, their application under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. was deemed unmaintainable.
- Learned Single Judge referred to the cases such as Yogesh Jagdish Joshi Vs. Sate of Maharashtra and Snehal @ Abhi s/o Dinesh Shendre Vs. The state of Maharashtra.
- Dissatisfied with the ruling of the single judge bench, the applicants made a reference to a Division Bench.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE STATE
- It was argued by the learned Assistant Public Prosecutor that although Article 14 guarantees equality before the law, it was contended that the JJ Act constituted an intended distinction for the protection of children, making a fair categorization allowable.
- He said that the JJ Act was for the benefit of children and that it was derived from Sub-Article (3) of Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. According to the APP, the JJ Act sees them as victims rather than criminals, hence a distinct special procedure is offered.
- It was further contended that the JJ Act supersedes all other laws, including the Cr.P.C. According to APP, Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. was not relevant to a child in conflict with the law under the JJ Act because the word "arrest" has not been used in Sections 10 and 12 or, for that matter, in any other regulations pertaining to a child under the JJ Act.
- The bench observed that rulings that establish the rule that an application under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code cannot be maintained on behalf of a child in legal conflict hold that Section 12 of the JJ Act is a complete code in and of itself.
- Furthermore, the JJ Act makes no express mention of anticipatory bail. In truth, the JJ Act does not mention "arrest" in relation to a child who has broken the law.
- The JJ Act is a beneficial legislation that views children as victims and not as perpetrators thus it cannot be used to restrict a child's rights, the court stated in other judgments that have taken the position that such an application is maintainable.
- In light of this, the court stated that a basic interpretation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution demonstrates that any protection afforded under the law to any person also applies to children as defined by the JJ Act.
- The Court also pointed out that Section 3(viii) of the JJ Act prohibits the use of adversarial or accusing language in proceedings involving a child. The term "arrest" is never used in relation to a child, bearing in mind the essence of this rule. In actuality, the Cr.P.C. interchanges the terms "arrest" with "apprehension."
The court concluded by stating that the JJ Act would have prevailed over the Cr.P.C. if it had included a mechanism similar to Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. But if no unique procedure similar to Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code is established, the rules of the Criminal Procedure Code must apply.
Learn the practical aspects of CrPC HERE, CPC HERE, IPC HERE, Evidence Act HERE, Family Laws HERE, DV Act HERE
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