New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the bail plea of a 16-year-old boy, accused of killing a seven-year-old student in a private school in Gurgaon, saying that the alleged crime fell under the category of "heinous offence".
The accused, who has been treated as an adult under a new law, claimed that he could not be awarded death or life sentence for the alleged offence of murder in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act.
A bench of justices R F Nariman and Indu Malhotra rejected the plea, saying the alleged crime fell under the category of "heinous offence" and life sentence could be given with a possibility of remission.
Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for the accused, who was a student in the school, argued that the law says that no child shall be sentenced to death or punished with life imprisonment.
He said that if the child, who is just 16 years old, is to be sentenced for life with a possibility of remission, then the alleged crime does not fall under the category of "heinous offence" but of "serious offence".
Agarwal submitted that if it is a serious offence, then the stipulated period for filing the charge sheet is 60 days and he can be granted the benefit of default bail as the charge sheet in the present case was filed on 89th day.
The bench said that he could be awarded life sentence with a possibility of remission but the alleged crime cannot be termed as not heinous.
The court said section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code comes under the category of heinous offence and the time limit for filing the charge sheet was 90 days and not 60 days.
"The special leave petition is dismissed. Pending applications stand disposed of," it said.
Advocate Sushil Tekriwal, appearing for the victim's father, opposed the bail plea of the accused.
The juvenile, who is accused of killing a seven-year-old boy in a Gurgaon school in September last year, had challenged the June 6 order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had dismissed his default bail plea.
The high court had also rejected the submission of the accused that he deserved the benefit of statutory bail on the ground that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had failed to conclude its probe within the prescribed limit of 60 days.
The juvenile had challenged in the high court the February 5 order of a Gurgaon sessions court which had rejected his plea saying that the stage was not fit for granting bail.
On May 21, the sessions court had held that the juvenile would be tried as an adult in the murder case.
Upholding the decision of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), the court had said the juvenile board took into consideration all the material placed before it to establish "the physical and mental capacity (of the accused) to commit the crime" and there was no need for any intervention.
The accused had challenged the December 20 order of the JJB, which had held that the teenager would be tried as an adult.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the teenager had murdered the student on September 8 last year in a bid to get exams 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 of Gurgaon.
Earlier, the court had barred the media from using the name of the victim, the accused and the school and asked it to use fictitious names instead.
While the victim was called "Prince" by the court, the accused was named "Bholu" and the school was referred to as "vidyalaya".
The probe agency had given a clean chit to school bus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was initially 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, following a nationwide uproar over the killing.