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HC allows HAQ to intervene on guidelines for preliminary assessment to try juveniles as adult

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New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Tuesday allowed a plea by NGO HAQ Centre for Child Rights to intervene in a criminal reference relating to the issuance of guidelines to be followed by Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) in conducting preliminary assessment before sending a minor for trial as an adult.

A bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and Anish Dayal said since a larger issue is raised in this reference regarding how preliminary assessment should be carried out, it would be appropriate to have a report on the ground reality.

The high court asked the NGO to file a report on the ground reality before proceeding further on the issue.

HAQ has filed an application seeking to be impleaded as an intervenor in the matter and to place on record certain material and advance submissions so that proper guidelines could be issued in respect of how preliminary assessment under Section 15 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is to be carried out.

“Consequently the application is disposed of. HAQ Centre for Child Rights is permitted to intervene in the reference. The report be filed by HAQ,” the bench said.

Section 15 of the JJ Act provides that in case a child, between 16 to 18 years of age, has committed a heinous offence, the Juvenile Justice Board may conduct a preliminary assessment in order to assess the maturity level of the child, his mental and his physical capacity to conduct such an act.

Initially, all children below the age of 18 years were to be treated as a juvenile and tried by the JJB.

However, after the 2015 Act came into force, a separate category for juveniles between the age of 16 to 18 years involved in heinous crimes, was formed. A preliminary enquiry needs to be carried out to ascertain if they are to be tried as a child or as an adult. PTI SKV RKS RKS

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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