The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the teenager accused of killing a seven-year-old boy inside a private school to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court for bail as an adult. A bench of Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran said the high court's verdict of October 11 last year will not come in the way of the court deciding the bail application of the accused. At the outset, advocate Sushil Tekriwal, appearing for Barun Chandra Thakur, father of the victim opposed the plea and said that as per the high court's order the Gurugram Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) was to consider afresh whether the teenager should be tried as an adult in the case or not. Only then he can be granted bail in the case, Tekriwal said.
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the teenager, said the bail application has already been filed in the high court and is pending. The bench said that it would be appropriate if the high court decides the application for bail of the teenager treating him as an adult and as per the law.
On November 19 last year, the top court had ordered status quo on the proceedings before the JJB which was to consider afresh whether a teenager accused should be tried as an adult in the case. The JJB, was directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 11, last year to decide afresh in six weeks whether the teenager was to be tried as an adult in the case.
The father of the victim had challenged the high court's October 11, 2018, order on the ground that it was illegal and contrary to the established procedure of the law. The high court had allowed the petition of the accused, filed in July, challenging the decision of the JJB to try him as an adult in the murder case.
The CBI, in a charge sheet, had alleged that the teenager had murdered the student on September 8, 2017, in a bid to get examinations postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled. The victim's body, with the throat slit, was found in the washroom of the school at the Bhondsi area.
Earlier, the court had barred the media from using the name of the 16-year-old accused in the case and asked it to use fictitious names instead. While the seven-year-old victim was named "Prince" by the court, the juvenile accused was named "Bholu" and the school was referred to as "Vidyalaya".
The probe agency had earlier given a clean chit to school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurgaon Police, saying there was no evidence to prove his involvement in the crime. The CBI had taken up the case from the Gurgaon Police on September 22, 2017, following a nationwide uproar over the gruesome killing.