Juvenile Delinquency

    Juvenile Delinquency

    Juvenile Delinquency is known as ” Juvenile Offending”. A juvenile is a person who is not an adult and has not reached the age at which they may be held accountable for their criminal activities in the same way as an adult can be. In India, Juvenile Delinquency is a serious concern. Juvenile delinquency is a type of action where a young or minor commits a crime same as an adult, crimes like Rape, Murder, Abduction, etc.

    Certain guidelines to keep in mind while filing an appeal for Juvenile(s):

    1. Make sure the Appeal is Maintainable Before the Court

    The appellant must have the Locus Standi before the Hon’ble Court. When we talk about Article 13 of the Indian Constitution, it can be inferred that it does not confer a Right of Appeal, but merely, Discretionary Power to the Supreme Court to be exercised for satisfying the demands of justice under exceptional circumstances. Although the power has been held to be Plenary, limitless, adjunctive, and unassailable, in the case of M. C. Mehta v. Union of India and Aero Traders Private Limited v. Ravinder Kumar Suri, it was held that the powers under Article 136 should be exercised with caution and in accordance with law and set legal principles. According to the principle of Locus Standi, the person who is aggrieved or affected has the standing before the court, that is to say, he only has a right to move the court for seeking justice. If the appellant is neither the aggrieved party nor the legal guardian of the minor respondent and is only an interested party, then this does not confer him/her the right to invoke the jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Court under article 136 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, the appellant does not have the Locus Standi, and therefore this appeal will not be maintainable before the Hon’ble Court.

    2. Non- Exhaustion of Alternate Remedies

    In the presence of an alternate remedy, the Supreme Court cannot be approached directly without the non-exhaustion of the same. In the case of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Vs. The state of Bihar and Ors the Supreme Court on dismissal of a Special Leave Petition observed that having regard to the very heavy backlog of work in the Court and the necessity to restrict the intake of fresh cases, it has very often been the practice of the Court to grant special leave in cases where the party cannot claim effective relief by approaching the concerned High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution. If the appellant has not exhausted all the available alternative remedies, the Hon’ble Court might dismiss the petition for special leave as there is no pressing need, urgency, special circumstance, or necessity to invoke the jurisdiction conferred upon the Hon’ble Court under Article 136.

    3. In case of a Special Leave, the Scope of Power under Article 136

    If Special Leave is granted, the matter is registered as an appeal and the Court does not take into cognizance all the points that may arise on appeal and decide them on Merits. The Supreme Court has also held that “it is not bound to go into merits and even if we do so and declare the law or point out the error – still we may not interfere if the justice of the case on facts does not require interference or if we feel that the relief could be molded in a different fashion.

    Juvenile Delinquency

    The Supreme Court in Kunhayammed v. the State of Kerala held that Article 136 consists of two distinct stages, the first stage where the matter is merely being decided if it is to be accepted as an appeal or not; if the Supreme Court decides to adjudicate the matter, it becomes an appeal, if otherwise, the matter was never an appeal.

    The court further observed that if the petition seeking grant of special leave is dismissed then it is an Expression of the opinion of the Court that a case invoking appellate jurisdiction of the Court was not made out. And in case, the leave is granted then the appellate jurisdiction of the Court stands invoked. The court also observed that the Judgment, Decree, or Order against which leave to appeal is sought continues to be final and binding even in case the petition for special leave to appeal is filed and it is only in case the leave is granted that the finality of the judgment or order is put in jeopardy though it continues to be binding and effective between the parties unless it is a nullity or the court passes specific order suspending the operation or execution of the judgment or order.

    The court relying on a catena of judgments concluded that in case there is dismissal at the stage of special leave without a speaking order or reasons then there shall be no res- judicata and no merger. And it can only be said that it was not a fit case where special leave could be granted. The court further said that it is not correct to assume that the court has decided implicitly all the questions in relation to the merits of the case and it is open for the litigant to approach the High court under Article 226 for review of the decision and there could be a possibility whereby the Supreme Court has dismissed the petition only because the litigant can approach the High Court under Article 226.

    Hence, by reason of lack of any necessity or urgency that requires the intervention of this Hon’ble Court, the Court need not entertain the matter.

    4. Grounds on which Appeal is Granted

    Grave injustice means nothing other than injustice but by using the word ‘grave’, some extra stress is applied conveying that it is “serious injustice” or “intense injustice” or “unforgivable injustice”. Grave injustice is a violation of another’s rights or of what is right. It is also a very specific unjust act or wrong.

    The Supreme Court has exercised its jurisdiction under Article 136 under the following circumstances:

    (i)When the Tribunal ostensibly fails to exercise its patent jurisdiction

    (ii)When there is an apparent error on the face of the decision

    (iii) The tribunal has erroneously applied well-accepted principles of jurisprudence

    iv)The tribunal acts against the principles of Natural Justice or has approached the question in a manner likely to cause injustice

    The Court also observed that a more or less uniform standard should be adopted in granting Special Leave in a wide range of matters which can come up under this Article. The court further observed that “this Court” should not grant special leave unless it is shown that “Exceptional and special circumstance exists”, that “substantial and grave injustice” has been done and the case in question presents features of sufficient gravity to warrant a review of the decision appealed against. The power conferred upon the Supreme Court of India is of “residual nature” and is a “discretionary power”.

    The Court observed in the case of Tirupati Balaji Developers Pvt. Ltd. Vs. The state of Bihar that Article 136 is an “extraordinary jurisdiction” vested by the Constitution in the Supreme Court with implicit trust and faith, and extraordinary care and caution has to be observed in the exercise of this jurisdiction. The court further observed that Article 136 does not confer a right of appeal on a party but vests a vast discretion in the Supreme Court meant to be exercised on the considerations of justice, call of duty, and eradicating injustice.


    The Governments in India are working to make the situation better about juvenile crimes. In the recent past, juvenile crime has decreased but there are still some issues that need our attention. The Government in India looks serious with policies like banning pornography and bad movies for children. The Government has taken good steps to provide healthy entertainment for children. Each and every district has a Child guidance center where the affected children are taken care of by trained employees. The prevention of Juvenile crime needs collaboration between government agencies, educational institutions, law enforcement and non-profit organizations. 

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