A Gurgaon sessions court on Monday deferred till February 2 the hearing of a case relating to the murder of a seven-year-old boy in a private school due to non-availability of the judge concerned.

The matter was adjourned as Additional Sessions Judge Jasbir Singh Kundu was on leave. During the last hearing, the court had barred the media from using the name of the 16-year-old juvenile accused and asked media houses to use imaginary names. While the seven-year-old victim was named ‘Prince’ by the court, the juvenile accused was named ‘Bholu’ and the school was called ‘Vidyalaya’.

On January 8, the court rejected the bail plea of the accused student. It also imposed a cost of Rs 21,000 for “wasting the court’s time” in baseless litigation and directed the father of the accused to deposit the amount. The victim was found with his throat slit in the school’s washroom on September 8 last year.

Gurgaon Police had claimed the crime was committed by a school bus conductor. This was later refuted by the CBI.
The probe agency claimed the teenager had killed the child in a bid to get the school closed so that a parent- teacher meeting and an examination could be deferred.

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on December 20 held that the teenager would be tried as an adult and directed that he be produced before the Gurgaon sessions court.

The Board had noted that the accused was mature enough to recognise the consequences of his actions.
If convicted, the accused will stay in a correctional home till he is 21 years old after which the court can shift him to a jail or grant him bail, it had said.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 lowers the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years for heinous crimes such as rape, murder and dacoity-cum- murder, which warrant at least seven years of imprisonment.

However, the JJB first decides whether the crime was “child-like” or committed in an “adult frame of mind”, following which it orders the accused to be tried as a juvenile or an adult.