Teen killer may be tried as adult

A 17-year-old boy apprehended on charges of killing a 68-year-old woman in central Delhi may be tried as an adult under a new law passed by Parliament in December 2015.

If the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) agrees, the teen, who has allegedly killed twice in the last five months, will be the first to be tried under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Of Children) Act of 2015.

According to police, the boy, around 17 years and 11 months old, killed south Delhi’s BK Dutt Colony resident Mithlesh Jain two months after he was released from a correction home. His parents had applied for bail saying that he had to appear for his class 10 exams.

He was earlier nabbed for killing a 13-year-old boy, who was kidnapped to demand Rs 60,000 ransom from his parents. Police have now urged the JJB to treat the boy as an adult.

The new law allows people between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults if they are found to be involved in heinous crimes like murder and rape. Earlier, all the accused were tried only by JJB and, if found guilty, sent to correctional homes for not more than three years. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in the Winter Session and signed by the President into Act on January 4. It allows the JJB to conduct a preliminary inquiry to find out whether the juvenile is indeed guilty of a heinous offence.

The boy’s case can be first transferred to a Children’s Court (Court of Session).

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