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"Identity of minor should not be revealed:" NCPCR Chairperson on Pune car accident case

New Delhi: National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo on Tuesday urged activists and media personnel to refrain from revealing the identity of the minor accused in the Pune car accident case. He emphasized that doing so would be a crime under the Juvenile Justice Act, which prohibits disclosing the identity of juvenile offenders or victims.
"I appeal to all activists and media persons that the police have done their job and the law will take its course. However, in the midst of all this, if anyone reveals the identity of the minor, it will also be a crime under the same law under which these cases have been registered. Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act specifies that the identity of any allegedly juvenile child or victim should not be revealed," Kanoongo said while speaking to ANI.
"So, you all should also keep in mind that the identity of the minor should not be revealed under any circumstances," he added.
The accident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, resulting in the deaths of two young individuals after a luxury car collided with their motorcycle near Kalyani Nagar in Pune.
Addressing the incident, Kanoongo pointed out the irresponsibility of giving a car to a minor and serving alcohol to them.
According to Kanoongo's conversation with the police, the police have filed an FIR against the minor under the appropriate sections, and an FIR has also been registered against the minor's father, who is responsible for giving the car. Additionally, the police have filed an FIR under the appropriate sections against the establishment that served alcohol to the minor.
"One point that repeatedly comes up in the media is regarding Section 15, which states that the competent court has the authority to decide if a minor aged between 16 and 18 should be tried as an adult if they have allegedly committed a serious crime. According to what the police have told us, this matter has also been brought to the notice of the honourable court. Now it is up to the court to decide," Kanoongo added.
Kanoongo reassured that the NCPCR is closely monitoring the case and will take necessary actions.
He also mentioned that no report has yet confirmed whether the minor had consumed alcohol, stressing the importance of letting the court conduct the trial and administer justice accordingly.
"I also want to clarify that no report has been received yet about whether the child consumed alcohol or not, so let this trial be conducted in court and whoever is guilty should be punished, especially those who are providing the place or serving alcohol to children. If the child has also made a mistake, they should receive lawful punishment," Kanoongo said.
Earlier in the day, Pune Commissioner of Police (CP) Amitesh Kumar firmly stated that the police have taken the most stringent possible measures in response to the car accident in the city that claimed the lives of Ashwini Koshta and Anis Awadhiya near Kalyani Nagar.
Addressing the media, CP Kumar emphasized that from the outset, the police have acted decisively, registering the offence under Section 304 (culpable homicide that does not amount to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), ensuring the case was presented in court for trial, and taking action against the father of the accused and the pub owners under the Juvenile Justice Act.
"From the very first day, whether it was registering the offence under Section 304 of the IPC or presenting it in court for trial or initiating action against the father and pub owners under the Juvenile Justice Act, the police's role has been integral from the beginning. Yesterday, I also mentioned that we have an open challenge: any panel of legal experts can come before us and suggest a more stringent approach than the one we have taken, and I am ready for that discussion," Kumar said.
"I responsibly state that the police have adopted the most stringent possible measures as per legal provisions and have been following that path," he asserted.
Kumar reiterated the commitment of the police to follow legal provisions rigorously and welcomed any constructive suggestions.
"I do not find it appropriate to respond to any accusations that the police have not done this or that. However, even at the risk of repetition, I want to clarify that the police have taken legal action and have followed the proper legal route. If anyone has any suggestions regarding this, they are welcome to come to us, and I am also ready for an online debate," Kumar said.
"We will try and prove to all concerned that we have adopted the most stringent possible approach, and we shall do everything within our power to ensure that the two young lives lost receive justice and that the accused are duly punished," he added.
Meanwhile, Pune City Police arrested the bar owner and the bar manager who served liquor to the minor accused on the night of the accident. Earlier in the day, police detained the father of the minor accused in the Pune car accident case, said police officials.
According to the Commissioner of Police, Pune, the father of the minor accused, had been detained from the Sambhajinagar area of Aurangabad district in Maharashtra this morning.
On Monday the Pune Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar said that the Pune Police are seeking permission to try the juvenile accused in the Pune rash driving case.
Earlier on May 19, the Juvenile Justice Board granted bail to the accused involved in a recent car accident in Pune, said the juvenile accused's advocate, Prashant Patil. The bail comes with several conditions aimed at rehabilitation and awareness.

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