10 yrs in jail, man walks free on proving juvenility in 1976 case

A 55-year-old, who remained in jail for 10 years serving life term for killing a man, was ordered to be released by the Supreme Court after he managed to prove that he was a minor at the time of incident about 40 years ago.

Agra-resident Ram Narain was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was held guilty for committing the murder of one Nathi Lal on December 21, 1976 by causing him gunshot injury. The apex court had upheld his conviction and life term in 2004.

In 2013, he filed an application before the Juvenile Justice Board, claiming that he was minor at the time of incident. He produced a school transfer certificate mentioning his date of birth as December 25, 1960.

The Juvenile Justice Board, taking note of fresh evidence, declared that his age was 15 years 11 months 26 days only and thus he was below 18 years at the time of incident.

In a fresh petition in the apex court, Ram Narian’s counsel submitted that the petitioner could not produce the transfer certificate during prosecution and he had to suffer the sentence under Section 302 Indian Penal Code culminating to life imprisonment. He urged the court to extend the benefit of the Juvenile Act to the petitioner.

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