Lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy moved the National Human Rights Commission seeking Rs 28 lakh compensation for a “juvenile” who had been reportedly been jailed wrongly for 14 years in Odisha. The NHRC has sought a rejoinder from the petitioner over a report of the state government contending that the boy was a major.

Filing the petition before the NHRC, Supreme Court lawyer and Rights Activist Radhakanta Tripathy alleged the negligence on the part of Administration and Jail staff for keeping the minor boy (name withheld to protect identity) along with other regular prisoners instead of sending him to the Juvenile Home, thereby causing harassment and torture to him.

The NHRC has sought ATR from Odisha DGP and Secretary, Dept. of Women & Child Welfare in the matter.

In response, SP Nayagarh informed the Commission claiming that the accused was born in 1977 and at the time of his arrest in September 2003 he was a major. He is in sub-jail of Rampur serving a life sentence.

In his rejoinder, Tripathy pointed out that after a thorough probe, the Juvenile Justice Board has found that the boy was a minor on the date of the alleged commission of the crime. He should have been tried before the Juvenile Justice Board and not before the Sessions Court. The juvenile could have been sentenced to a maximum three years of imprisonment.

His date of birth as per school record is April 19, 1986, contended Tripathy.

Tripathy requested the NHRC to direct the State to pay at least Rs 28 lakh to the boy to compensate for the loss of 14 years in prisons and/or other rehabilitation measures/benefits of social welfare schemes due to the negligence of the State.