Delay in raising plea cannot be a ground denial of juvenility: SC

The Supreme Court (SC), while dealing with the issue of whether plea of juvenility taken by the accused, purportedly, a child in conflict with law, can be denied on the ground that such plea was taken at a belated stage, has held that, as per Section 7-A of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 plea of juvenility can be taken at any stage & before any court. The SC further overturned the Patna High Court’s order of conviction on the ground that plea of juvenility had been rejected without conducting a proper inquiry.