Thursday, 30 June 2022

Krishna Bhagwan V. State of Bihar

 Krishna Bhagwan vs. State of Bihar


Facts:

The appellant has been convicted u/Ss.302, 307 and 324 of the Penal Code by the Sessions Judge and has been sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life u/S.302, ten years u/S.307 and two years u/S. 324. The sentences have been directed to run concurrently. The appellant is alleged to have committed the offences in question on 8-3-1982. It appears that no plea was taken in the Court below that the appellant was a child within the meaning of the Bihar Children Ordinance Act on the date of the commission of the offence and as such he should not have been put on trial before the Sessions Judge. This plea was taken for the first time before this Court during the hearing of the appeal. 


Issues: 

  1. Whether the provisions of the Bihar Children Act, 1982 shall be applicable even to a case where by the time the trial commences or concludes the accused ceases to be a child although when the offence was committed he was a child within the meaning of the Act?

  2. Where the plea that the accused was a child within the meaning of the Act aforesaid and as such the trial could not have proceeded before the Criminal Court, has not been taken at the trial stage but is taken at the appellate stage what procedure should be followed for the purpose of determination of the age of the accused at the time of the commission of the offence and if the accused is found to be child, then for extending the benefits of the Act?



Judgement: 

In olden days every home was the best child care home but with growth of population and industrialization children are being neglected by their own parents and come in contact with evil elements in the society. Many of such children who are charged as criminals are themselves victims of the circumstances, prevailing in the society. As such different States framed Legislations for dealing with children alleged to have committed different offences. Initially Bihar Children Ordinance, 1973 (Ordinance No. 33 of 1973) was promulgated which was ultimately replaced by the Bihar Children Act, 1982 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Children Act’. Later Parliament enacted the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Juvenile Act’ containing more or less similar provisions, perhaps, with an object that there should be a Central Act in respect of children throughout the country.


In case of Krishna Bhagwan v. State of Bihar, Patna High Court upheld that if the accused of an offence during the trial, has attained the age of 7 years or at the time of decision the child has attained the age of 7 years can be convicted if he is able to understand the nature of the offence.


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