Maximum sentence 10 years for children: High Court
Published: 10:26 PM, 4 March 2021
The High Court has ruled that children cannot be sentenced to more than 10 years for any crime. It said the child's confessional statement has no evidentiary value.
A larger bench of the High Court headed by Justice Shawkat Hossain passed the order on Thursday, sources said.
There is no specific law in the country for taking confessional statements of children involved in conflict of law. Earlier, children were tried under the Children's Act of 1974. In 2013 there was a new children's law. According to the law, a special bench was constituted including the age of the child, taking of statement, punishment and juvenile detention center, on which the Supreme Court of the country ruled in favor and against. That is why the Chief Justice formed a full bench.
That bench has given a landmark verdict on children. The three verdicts are: i. The child's confessional statement has no evidence value, ii. Confessional statements cannot be used as a basis for sentencing a child and iii. No matter what the crime, a child cannot be sentenced to more than 10 years.
The Supreme Court has given such a verdict in the case of children considering the precedents of the Courts of India and the United Kingdom.
Constitutional expert Shahdin Malik said the lower court will consider the verdict in the case of juvenile justice.
The court said in its judgmental observation that the children cannot control their emotions. So they get involved in the crime.