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HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT
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  Date 3/30/2011 12:00:00 AM
  Court Allahabad High Court
  Parties Surjeet Singh Vs. State of U.P. and others
  Appeal ---Select--- - Criminal Revision No.906 OF 2011
  Act Juvenile Act. - 18,20 Juvenile Act. & 373 Criminal Procedure Code.
  Judgement
  Allahabad High Court.

Vinod Prasad J.
Revisionist Surjeet Singh is aggrieved by order dated 8.2.2011 passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Varanasi in S.T. No. 598/2003 (State Vs. Shiv Prakash Singh and others) relating to offences under Sections 147, 148, 149, 302, 307, 506 I.P.C., P.S. Cholapur, District Varanasi, by which order, the prayer of the revisionist to send his matter before Juvenile Justice Board made through an application being Paper No. 275 Kha has been refused by the trial Judge.
I have heard Sri P.K. Singh, learned counsel for the revisionist and learned AGA for an against this revision.
Perusal of the impugned order as well as record indicates that for the charge of aforesaid offences, revisionist is facing trial along with other accused persons Prem Chandra, Om Prakash, Bharat Singh, Ashok Kumar Singh, Sonu Yadav, Sushil Singh, Pyare Lal, Mahesh Yadav, Kailash, Satyendra @ Guddu and Shiv Prakash.
During the course of the proceeding, revisionist along with his co-accused Mahesh Yadav claimed juvenility. Vide order dated 16.2.2010, they were declared to be a juvenile but at the same time their trial was directed to be held simultaneously by the trial Judge. The trial of the accused persons is pending since 2003 and seven years have already lapsed. Learned counsel for C.B.I. opposed the prayer of the revisionist. Relying upon Section 20 of Juvenile Justice Act, counsel for C.B.I. submitted that there is no need to send the matter of the revisionist before Juvenile Justice Board and after recording conviction, his case can be transferred to the Juvenile Justice Board for imposing a sentence.
Sri P.K. Singh, learned counsel for the revisionist argued before this Court that Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act provides that the trial of juveniles shall not be conducted jointly along with those persons, who are not juvenile and, therefore, the trial court committed a legal error in rejecting the prayer of the revisionist vide Paper No. 275 Kha to send his case before the Juvenile Justice Board.
I have pondered over rival contentions. For a proper understanding, Sections 18 and 20 of the Juvenile Justice Act are being reproduced herein below; "18. No joint proceeding of juvenile and person not a juvenile.-(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or in any other law for the time being in force, no juvenile shall be charged with or tried for any offence together with a person who is not a juvenile.
(2) If a juvenile is accused of an offence for which under Section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) or anyh other law for the time being in force, such juvenile and any person who is not a juvenile would, but for the prohibition contained in sub-section (1), have been charged and tried together, the Board taking cognizance of that offence shall direct separate trials of the juvenile and the other person."
"20. Special provision in respect of pending cases.-Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, all proceedings in respect of a juvenile pending in any Court in any area on the date on which this Act comes into force in that area, shall be continued in that Court as if this Act had not been passed and if the Court finds that the juvenile has committed an offence, it shall record such finding and instead of passing any sentence in respect of the juvenile, forward the juvenile to the Board which shall pass orders in respect of that juvenile in accordance with the provisions of this Act if it had been satisfied on inquiry under this Act that a juvenile has committed the offence.
[Provided that the Board may, for any adequate and special reason to be mentioned in the order, review the case and pass appropriate order in the interest of such juvenile.
Explanation.-In all pending cases including trial, revision, appeal or any other criminal proceedings in respect of a juvenile in conflict with law, in any Court, the determination of juvenility of such a juvenile shall be in terms of clause (1) of section 2, even if the juvenile ceases to be so on or before the date of commencement of this Act and the provisions of this Act shall apply as if the said provisions had been in force, for all purposes and at all material times when the alleged offence was committed."
Perusal of the aforesaid two Sections indicate that the general rule is that a juvenile should not be tried along with major persons. In this respect, it is provided under Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act that Section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law for the time being in force shall stood amended and will give way to the provisions of Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act. What is noticeable is that Section 18 does not make any reference to any of the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act and, therefore, the aforesaid Sections has to be read only in respect of Section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law for the time being in force. Word "any other law" as is mentioned in Section 18 of the Act has got reference to any other law except Juvenile Justice Act and, therefore, prevalence to Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act can be given on the provisions of Section 223 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and any other law except Juvenile Justice Act. Sub-Section 2 of Section 18 provides that Juvenile Justice Board, after taking cognizance of the offence shall proceed in a separate trial in respect of juvenile and other persons.
Section 20 of the Juvenile Justice Act however starts with a non-obstente clause and provides "Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, all proceedings in respect of a juvenile pending in any court .................." The aforesaid wordings of Section 20, gives it a precedence over any other Section of the Juvenile Justice Act. The words "anything contained in this Act" supports the said view. Therefore, the natural outcome of the joint reading of both the provisions indicate that Section 18 of the Juvenile Justice Act has to give way to Section 20 of the said Act. In all respect, Section 20 has got an overriding effect and legislative mandate contained in Section 20 will have precedence over Section 18 of the Act. Section 20 ordains that if the trial of a juvenile has commenced then the matter need not be referred necessarily to the Juvenile Justice Board and the trial of juvenile can go on along with other accused and if the trial court convicts the juvenile, then, in that eventuality, instead of passing a sentence, the trial court will refer the case of juvenile to the Juvenile Justice Board for passing appropriate orders in his respect in accordance with the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act. Thus, it is clear that if the trial of a juvenile offender has already commenced, the provisions of Section 20 of Juvenile Justice Act will have applicability.
Perusal of the record in the instant revision indicates that the trial was pending since last seven years. The trial is at the fag-end as the entire evidences of the prosecution and the accused have already been over. It is at this stage of the fag-end of the trial that the revisionist has prayed vide Paper No. 275 Kha to send his matter to the Juvenile Justice Board, which prayer has been refused by impugned order dated 8.2.2011.
It seems that only to delay the trial and lingering on the proceedings of a murder and an attempt to murder case, the said application was filed by the revisionist. When the evidences were being led and the accused were cross examining the witnesses, no grievance was raised by the revisionist for sending his matter to the Juvenile Justice Board. Much of the water has already been flown and it is too late in the day for the revisionist to rue that his matter has not been transferred to juvenile Justice Board. Opinion of the trial Judge as is recorded in the impugned order dated 8.2.2011, cannot be said to be arbitrary and illegal.

This revision being bereft of merits, is hereby dismissed. Dt.30.3.2011