This is what happens when an accused person does not have adequate legal representation. A guy committed a murder when he was 17 years and 7 months old, but he and his counsel did not raise the defence of juvenility during the trial stage of his appeal to the high court and Supreme Court. When the maximum punishment for a minor is three years in a special home, he ended up spending over 17 years in prison.
The convict 2021 submitted a plea at the Supreme Court, raising the question of juvenility for the first time, twelve years after exhausting all of his legal rights to dispute his conviction and life sentence following the dismissal of his appeal in the apex court in 2009. When he approached a lawyer for his early release, he learned about the juvenility defence.
His lawyers, Aarif Ali and Md Irshand Hanif, discovered that he was a juvenile at the time of the crime after reviewing his records and filed an application with the Supreme Court, claiming juvenility as a defence. The lawyers informed the court that the convict’s date of birth was May 16, 1986, and that he was thus a minor.
The lawyers informed the court that the convict’s date of birth is May 16, 1986, indicating that he was a juvenile on January 8, 2004, when the crime was committed.
The Supreme Court ordered an investigation into the claim by the Juvenile Justice Board of District Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh. In March, the Juvenile Justice Board issued an order stating that his correct date of birth was May 16, 1986, and that he was 17 years, 7 months, and 23 days old at the time of the offence.
Accepting the board’s findings, a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Abhay S Oka ordered that he be released immediately. It stated that only the Juvenile Justice Board had the authority to trial a juvenile, and that an accused might raise a claim of juvenility in any court, even after the case had been finalised. It stated that if the court determines that the accused was a juvenile on the date of the offence, the court should refer the juvenile to the board for appropriate orders. However, the bench stated that the offender had already served almost 17 years in prison and that referring the case to the board would be unjust.
In this instance, he was found guilty along with others in a triple murder case by the sessions court in May 2006 and sentenced to life in prison.