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Claim of juvenility can be raised even after conviction, says SC - New Delhi News

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday said it is a settled law that juvenile claims can be raised even post-conviction and also before the top court.

Updated Oct 22, 2021 13:57 PM

Claim of juvenility can be raised even after conviction, says SC - New Delhi News

Advocate Rishi Malhotra, representing the petitioners, submitted before a bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari that his clients are languishing in the jail and they had already undergone imprisonment for periods ranging from 12 years to 25 years.

The top court was hearing a writ petition filed by 23 prisoners who are undergoing imprisonment in Agra central jail, and had sought directions to the Uttar Pradesh government to verify their claim of juvenility.

The bench observed that delay in raising the claim of juvenility could not be a ground for rejection of the petition, and noted that all petitioners have undergone imprisonment for over six years and some have undergone imprisonment for over 20 years.

The plea claimed that one of the petitioners has undergone imprisonment for 26 years, and two other petitioners have undergone imprisonment over 20 years. The petitioners have claimed that they were all well below 18 years on the date of commission of the offence, and maximum jail term under Juvenile Justice Act is 3 years, in special juvenile homes.

The bench directed the UP government to get verified the petitioners' claim of juvenility by the trial court concerned within a period of one month from the date of order. The top court had earlier issued directions for the immediate release of the petitioners if all or any one of them were found to be juveniles.

The UP government counsel contended that petitioners had not been declared juvenile, and they have not taken the plea of juvenility even before the court where their appeal against conviction was pending.

The bench orally observed that if a person is found to be juvenile, the person can't be kept in custody for more than three years, irrespective of the nature of offence, and added that the claim of juvenility has to be examined. However, the bench clarified that it is not releasing the prisoners without examining their claim of juvenility.

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