Hyderabad: Pradip D was sentenced as an adult as he failed to provide police with any educational certificates to prove his actual age.
Since 2009, Pradip fought to prove his real age. When he appealed to the High Court and had no lawyer, Pradip took one hour to prepare his argument. Pradip at the time was a minor, but thanks to the time taken for legalities and the appeal, Pradip had turned 21 years old.
Finally, in September, 2015, the Additional Metropolitan Sessions judge was directed to conduct a detailed inquiry into the age of Pradip. It was found by Dr. K Laxman, Osmania General Hospital, that he was less than 15 years old at the time of arrest. The court verdict read as, ‘sentence recorded against Pradip, dated 2010 in the Sessions Case No. 472 of 2009, learned that the offense punishable under Section 302 IPC alone, is set aside’.
Translating that the charges against Pradip would be set aside and if there was no other case/ crime registered against them along with any fines paid to be refunded. Pradip finally found justice after a long fight of 7 years. Pradip claims he was often supported by the prison staff to continue his search for justice. “It took me 7 years to gain justice, during the time I learnt much from life.”
Meanwhile, jailer Venkatesh said, “Sometimes without documentation it is hard to prove someone’s age, and there are times when life sentences are reduced as per the discretion of the courts unique to each prisoner’s case.”...