MP HC | S. 14(3) of the Juvenile Justice Act not mandatory in all circumstance; delay adequately explained

Madhya Pradesh High Court: This petition was filed before the Bench of Atul Sreedharan, J., against the order passed by Special Judge (Atrocities), District Damoh where order passed by Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, District Damoh was affirmed.

Petitioner submitted that the order was passed by the Juvenile Justice Board whereby preliminary assessment of petitioner was done and direction was given that he should be tried as an adult due to the nature of the crime committed. Petitioner was charged for the murder of a member of a depressed class. He had submitted that the assessment done above was to be concluded within a period of three months mandatory from the date of the first production of the child before the Board in accordance with the provision of Section 14(3) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 but this assessment took almost a year. Whereas the respondent contended the provision to be procedural with no consequence of its violation provided in the Act thus, cannot be considered a mandatory provision.

High Court was of the view that since the delay was adequately explained and no prejudice was caused to petitioner, there was no need for this Court to interpret the provision to be mandatory under all circumstances. Therefore, this petition was dismissed. [Bhola v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 521, dated 01-04-2019]

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