City anchor: Minor who crashed car arrested, rights panel calls it ‘unlawful’

The 17-year-old boy who was driving the Volkswagen Polo that crashed into a truck and left three of his friends injured, one seriously, in Noida's Sector-15A on November 12, was arrested and immediately released by Noida police on Thursday.

A child rights organisation has questioned the police action, claiming it was in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The boy was on the slip road off the DND Flyway when his car crashed into a slow-moving truck. Five of his friends were in the car with him.

The father of the boy who was seriously injured, Shiv Bhargava (18), has claimed that the father of the 17-year-old came to the spot minutes after the accident and took his son away, while leaving the other injured students in the car.

Shiv suffered injuries to both his eyes and underwent a facial reconstruction surgery on Tuesday.

Police confirmed that the 17-year-old boy was brought to the police station by his father around 6.30 pm and 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 in a matter of minutes," a senior police officer said.

The child rights group called the arrest "unlawful" and quoted Chapter 3, Section 11 of the JJ Act: "The police shall not be required to register an FIR or file a chargesheet, 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."

The group said they have not initiated any action against the police yet.

An official from the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) said: "In the FIR, the sections under which the crime is registered are ones of negligence, and are not of "serious nature"."

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