2016 Mercedes Hit-And-Run Case: Juvenile to Be Tried as an Adult

A Delhi court has rejected a plea by a youngster seeking trial as a juvenile in the Mercedes hit-and-run-case of 2016, reported The Times of India.

The accused, who was a teenager at the time of the accident, had allegedly run over 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma with his father’s Mercedes near the Ludlow Castle School in north Delhi on 4 April 2016.

The accused had challenged an order of the Juvenile Justice Board, directing him to be tried as an adult.

This is the first case since the amendment of the Juvenile Justice Act, in which a juvenile who has been accused of committing a ‘heinous crime’ will be tried as an adult, according to The Print. A heinous crime is one where the minimum mandatory sentence is 7 years.

Initially, a case under IPC Section 304A was lodged against the accused. However, the police later charge-sheeted the juvenile in the Juvenile Justice Board for culpable homicide after learning that he was a repeat offender, reported The Times of India.

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According to the amended Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the board has the discretion to decide if a youth who has committed a heinous crime will be tried as a juvenile or an adult. This Act was brought into force in January 2016. However, the sessions court has the final authority in the order, according to The Print.

Observing that the accused was aware of the consequences of his actions, the Juvenile Justice Board, in June 2016, had ruled that the juvenile in the case would be tried as an adult. The board also relied on the accused’s history of repeat violations and noted that he had been fined thrice for breaking traffic rules.

(With inputs from The Times of India and The Print)

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