Delhi court on 11th of February ruled that the juvenile who was involved in a Mercedes hit-and-run case will be tried as an adult. The order comes three years after the youth ran over 32 year old Siddharth Sharma in his speeding Mercedes in the national capital on 4 April 2016, just four days before his 18th birthday.
The boy’s plea to be tried as juvenile was rejected because according to amendment made to Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act the Juvenile Justice Board has the discretion to decide if a youth who has committed a heinous crime will be tried as a juvenile or an adult. The boy who was involved in the hit-and-run case is now 21 years old.
Earlier in 2016, Juvenile board in its five-page order observed that the youth was aware of the consequences of his actions and was in “no manner lacking in mental and physical capacity to commit the offence”. Board also relied on boy’s history of driving violation and found that he was fined thrice for breaking traffic rules. Board also found that after after hitting the pedestrian, he did not stop and fled the spot to avoid getting caught.
In a charge sheet filed against the youth’s parents and the driver, the Delhi Police in May 2017 said,
JCL (Juvenile in Conflict with law) was a repeat offender and he had been driving this vehicle with consent of his parents who intentionally aided by illegal omission by allowing their minor son to drive the offending car who drove it dangerously by over-speeding the vehicle and in this way did an act with the knowledge that he is likely to cause death by such act which ultimately culminated in death of pedestrian Siddharth Sharma.
Under age driving is trend that is now gaining momentum in our country. Parents allow their children to drive their car or bike even before they turn 18. This is actually very dangerous because even if they are good at driving, they are not legally permitted to drive as they might cause some accidents due to negligent driving. The MV act even has a provision where parents of the minors can be awarded punishment. There can be up to three years in jail or a fine of Rs. 25,000 or both at the same time.