Punjab and Haryana HC declines bail to class VI student in lawyer’s murder case

Sofi Ahsan
Punjab and Haryana High Court, Gurgaon lawyer murder case, punjab news, haryana news, indian express news

Naveen, an advocate, was killed in July last year by a family allegedly for favouring its rival family during Panchayat proceedings relating to a quarrel between the two families.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declined to grant bail to a 12-year-old Mewat boy, who along with his family members is accused of murdering a Gurgaon lawyer in July last year. The class VI student is currently detained at an observation home.

“The allegations are very grave and serious that he along with co-accused had committed murder of Naveen. That he is a teenager but the criminal acts for which he had allegedly been booked are to be taken with all the seriousness,” said Justice Harminder Singh Madaan in the order, while upholding the orders passed by the Juvenile Justice Board and the Additional Sessions Judge Nuh.

Naveen, an advocate, was killed in July last year by a family allegedly for favouring its rival family during Panchayat proceedings relating to a quarrel between the two families. There are seven accused in the case pending before the Sessions Court and they are facing charges under Sections 148 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 302 (murder) of the IPC.

The lawyers representing the minor have been arguing that the child needs to be released on bail as a matter of right under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The bail plea had been filed through his maternal uncle, who said he is ready to take care of the child. Haryana Police, before the Sessions Court, had opposed the bail saying that the child’s father, mother and other family members are already in jail and that “there is real danger of retribution at the hands of family members of deceased”.

In October 2019, the Juvenile Justice Board dismissed the bail application with an observation that releasing the minor on bail was likely to put him to psychological and moral danger. “It is in the interest of welfare of child in conflict with law that he be kept safely in preventive detention at observation home,” the Board said. The Sessions Court upheld the order in December 2019.

Justice Madan said the orders passed by the court below are detailed and well reasoned. “It does not come out to suffer from any illegality or infirmity...The orders are certainly not perverse or passed in an arbitrary manner. The revisional jurisdiction of this court is quite limited and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, there is no reason to interfere with the impugned orders,” said Justice Madaan.

The lawyers in Gurgaon last year had protested against the advocate’s killing with Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in Chandigarh demanding a CBI probe in the case.