Ryan School murder: accused 16-year-old to be tried as an adult

Ryan School murder: accused 16-year-old to be tried as an adult

A 16-year old student of the Ryan International School in Gurugram, detained by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the murder of seven-year-old Pradhuman Thakur, will face trial in the case as an adult.

The Juvenile Justice Board on Wednesday transferred the murder case to a Sessions Court for trial, rejecting the argument of the boy's counsel that he could not be treated as adult for his trial in the case under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as he was still a juvenile.

In a 13-page order, the Board noted that Section 302 of the IPC has been "rightly invoked" against the class XI boy of the Ryan school.

While the offence, reportedly committed by the boy, was "heinous," the circumstances show the he was "mature enough" to understand the consequences of his act, the Board also observed.

The boy, charged with murdering Pardhuman, will be lodged at an observation home in Faridabad till he turns 21, the Board said in its order.

The class XI student of the School has been charged with killing Pradhuman in the school's toilet on September 8 by slitting his throat. His involvement in the killing came to light after the CBI began investigation into the case.

The Section 2(33) of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act provides for trial of juveniles, aged between 16 and 18 years, under the laws meant for adults in case of their involvement in "heinous crimes" like rape, murder and armed robbery. The Act empowers Juvenile Justice Boards to decide as to whether a Juvenile in this age group should be tried as adults or not.

The Juvenile Justice Board examined the physical and mental condition of the boy. It also took note of a report of a clinical psychologist which concluded that the boy in no manner lacked the mental and physical capacity to commit the offence.

Before the Haryana Government handed over the case to the CBI acceeding to the demand of Praduman's father, the Gurugram police had arrested a conductor of the school bus, identified as Ashok Kumar, in connection with the murder, claiming that the accused had confessed to the crime during interrogation.

Police later also arrested two top officials of the school- Francis Thomas and Jeyus Thomas-in connection with murder, charging the duo with tampering with the evidence at the crime spot.

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