The Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court has held that it is not obligated to give the complainant a hearing while hearing a bail plea of a juvenile accused as per the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
The Court was hearing a revision petition seeking bail for a young boy of less than 16 years. The boy was accused of offences under Section 341 and 395 of the IPC. The Juvenile Justice Board and Special Judge of the Children Court, Durgapur, rejected his bail application.
The bench of Justice Sandeep Mehta observed that, “there is no legislative mandate under the Juvenile Justice Act that the victim should be notified before hearing the bail application of a child in conflict with law, be it before the Juvenile Justice Board, Appellate Court or before the High Court exercising the revisional powers under Section 102 of the Juvenile Justice Act.”
The Court also noted that the legislative intent does not give any such indication, which may require notifying the complainant before proceeding to consider the prayer for bail of a CICL at any of these three stages. Suffice it to say that even if the plain language of proviso to Section 102 of the Juvenile Justice Act is literally considered, it indicates that an order prejudicial to any person may not be passed by the High Court without giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
It was further noted that the legislature had intended to give a right of hearing to the complainant in proceedings of bail, under the Juvenile Justice Act specific insertions to this effect could have been made in Sections 12, 101 and 102 of the Juvenile Justice Act as are available in the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, another special legislation.
The Court granted bail to the juvenile accused on the condition that his natural guardian will have to furnish a personal bond.