For this crime, Mumbai police know the thieves but can't arrest them

Feb 10, 2017, 18:26 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

The cycle after the wheels were stolen
The cycle after the wheels were stolen

When advocate Arpan Malwankar bought his 10-year-old son Shardul a new cycle for his birthday, he had no idea it would become the cause of his heartbreak, too. After he discovered that three minors had brazenly stolen its tyres from his Bhandup home -- an ev­ent that was caught on CCTV -- he also found there was nothing he could do about it.

According to new directives by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in May, no FIR can be filed against a minor for petty offences. According to Malwankar, "The police found the CCTV footage that identifies the miscreants, but they can’t do much as the new directives tie their hands. If you see the footage, they seem extremely confident and carefree. There is not an ounce of tension on their faces. If they don’t fear the law, then the future can be fatal."

CCTV grab shows the three walking away with the wheels

Meanwhile, even as Kanjurmarg police has confirmed the incident, an officer said, "As they are minors, we don’t have the power to arrest them. So they will be called to the police station along with their parents and the stolen wheels will be handed over to the complainant. In such cases, we inform the juvenile board."

Another officer said, "Earlier, if any minor was taken into custody, an FIR was needed. But now, an FIR can be registered only if the crime is very serious."

New rule states
As per Chapter 3 of the new rule book, no FIR can be registered against a minor for committing a petty crime. Form 1 states that the case has to be filed by a child welfare officer at a police station or special juvenile protection unit, that has to be submitted to the Juvenile Justice Board.

State has second highest numbers
According to the latest data released by the Nat­io­nal Crime Records Bur­eau (NCRB), Maharashtra has the second highest number of juvenile crimes after MP. In 2011 and 2012 4,775 and 4,507 juvenile crimes were reported in each state respectively. In 2013, Maharashtra’s num­ber went up to 5,708. In 2014, it decreased to 5,175, but in 2015, it again jumped to 5,482.

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