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  • When it came to joint proceedings, Vinod S. Bhardwaj, J., ruled that if there is a 'Juvenile in conflict with law' with an adult, the proceedings cannot be done jointly. 
  • The petition was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ('CrPC'), seeking a reversal of the Magistrate's order declaring the petitioner a proclaimed offender. 
  • According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (the "JJ Act"), orders can only be issued by the Juvenile Justice Board (the "JJ Board") and not by the Magistrate.
  • The FIR was filed under Sections 323, 325, and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860, alleging that the petitioner was a Polling Agent during the Panchayat Elections, and that a fight occurred between him and the complainant, which was settled by respectable persons on both sides. 
  • However, while the complainant was at home, 20-25 people arrived in various vehicles carrying weapons and inflicted injuries. 
  • The petitioner was allegedly armed with a kirpan and participated in the commission of the crime alongside other co-accused.
  • The petitioner's counsel stated that the incident occurred on 19-07-2013 and that the petitioner's date of birth is 19-02-1998, as confirmed by his passport. 
  • As a result, it was argued that because the petitioner was under the age of 15 on the date of the alleged incident, he had been falsely implicated. 
  • The petitioner was found innocent after an investigation and was not charged by the Investigating Agency. 
  • The Court noted that the mandatory period of 30 days prescribed by Section 82 CrPC for the order of proclamation had not lapsed.
  • The Court observed that because the offence in question was committed in 2013, the provisions of the JJ Act, 2000 as amended were applicable, and the petitioner, who was under the age of 15 on the date of the incident, would fall under the definition of 'Juvenile in conflict with the law.'
  • According to Sections 2(k), 2(l), 2(p), 15, and 18 of the JJ Act, 2000, there can be no joint proceedings between a juvenile and other offenders. As a result, only the JJ Board could issue orders under Chapter II of the JJ Act of 2000. As a result, the Court ruled that the Magistrate's order declaring the petitioner to be the proclaimed offender lacked jurisdiction.
  • Based on the foregoing, the Court granted the petition and reversed the impugned order by which the petitioner was declared a proclaimed offender.
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