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‘Tried to influence witnesses’: HC rejects bail plea of juvenile in Gurugram school murder case

Punjab and Haryana High Court says father of the juvenile also tried to pressurise the Principal Magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board in Gurugram.

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New Delhi: The Punjab and Haryana High Court Wednesday dismissed the bail plea of the juvenile who is the prime accused in the 2017 Gurugram school murder case.

While dismissing the plea, the court observed the juvenile made attempts to influence the witnesses, and that his father also tried to put pressure on the Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), Gurugram.

“CBI in its reply filed has categorically stated that the appellant and his father tried to influence the witnesses and further the Principal Magistrate, JJB, Gurugram was pressurised by the father of the appellant and his colleagues to withdraw order dated 11.4.2019 transferring Master Bholu to place of safety at Madhuban,” the HC order noted.

The juvenile, who is being referred to as Master Bholu for the purpose of these proceedings, has been in judicial custody since his arrest in November 2017, for allegedly murdering an eight-year-old boy from the same school. He was a Class 11 student at the time. This is the second bail application he has filed, after the CBI filed the charge sheet in February 2018.

The order by the Principal Magistrate, JJB, Gurugram, had read: “I was astonished to see that they were trying to influence me to change my order by exercising power under Section 104 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. They were pressurising me not to shift the juvenile Bholu to the place of Safety Madhuban, from the Observation Home, Faridabad. They were bent upon to influence me to recall the order dated 11.04.2019 on the ground that the Board has ample powers to amend its own orders.”

The magistrate added: “When the undersigned refused to accede to their unlawful demand and request them to approach the state government to designate a place of safety of their choice at the place nearer to the house of Bholu or to challenge the order, they went away but the tone of the father of the juvenile was threatening.”

‘Non-progress can’t be sole ground’ to grant bail

The HC also said that “custody period and non-progress of trial cannot be the sole ground for grant of bail”.

The court noted the fact that his plea on whether he should be tried as a juvenile or as an adult is currently pending in the Supreme Court.

The Juvenile Justice Board in December 2017 had declared that the juvenile is delinquent, and mentally and physiologically fit to be tried as an adult.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: Forced confession, torture — how police ‘framed’ bus conductor in Gurugram school murder


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