Cops draw flak for arresting teen on drunken driving charges

Noida police on Wednesday arrested 17-year-old student of Delhi Public School in a drunken driving case but released him later in the evening. The student was allegedly driving a car in drunken stage at around 10 pm on 12 November and met with an accident in which four students were injured.

The teenager was summoned for questioning but the police arrested him later on. Meanwhile, the child right activists registered their strong protest forcing the police to release him on bail. On 12 November 12, between 9.50 pm and 10.20 pm, the accused was allegedly driving a car with five other students from the same school, when the car crashed into a slow moving vehicle on the slip road of Sector 15A. While three students were injured, the driver escaped unhurt. He then allegedly spoke to his parents, and his father came to rescue him, and left the other injured at the spot. One of the injured, Shiv Bhargava, 18, has suffered injuries in both his eyes and required facial reconstruction surgery in an operation lasting several hours on Tuesday.

Several police officials confirmed that the accused was brought to the police station by the father at around 6.30 pm, following which he was released after two surety notes, worth Rs 20,000 each were issued by his family. ‘Since it is a bailable offence, we let the accused go,’ senior police officials confirmed.

However, members of child rights groups said that while they have not taken any action against the police on the matter thus far, the arrest is ‘unlawful.’ They point to chapter three, section 11 of the JJ Act that reads ‘the Police shall not be required to register an FIR or file a charge-sheet, except where the offence alleged to have been committed by the juvenile is of a serious nature such as rape, murder or when such offence is alleged to have been committed jointly with adults.

An official from the CWC said, ‘In the FIR, the sections under which the crime is registered are ones of negligence, and are not of serious nature.’

However, the SSP of Police Praveen Kumar said, ‘All procedures have been followed. An undertaking was taken and no chargesheet will be filed in the case.’ He declined to comment on the arrest or the naming of the juvenile.
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