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Minor accused in Mercedes hit-and-run case

New Delhi: A teenager accused of running over a 32-year-old professional in a Mercedes in north Delhi will be tried as an adult, the juvenile justice board decided on Saturday which followed nationwide outrage over mounting crimes by underage perpetrators.

The board said the accused that juvenile who turned 18 four days after the incident in April is in no manner lacking in mental and physical capacity to commit the alleged offence.

“Past cases and evidence is strong to try him as an adult,” said the board. If convicted, the offender could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in jail.

The board also added that on the date of incident, the accused a Class 12 student had the ability to understand the consequences of the offence. The accused was termed a ‘perpetual defaulter’, as he was fined thrice – twice for speeding and once for parking wrongly – last year.

On April 4, the suspect and five of his friends were travelling in a speeding Mercedes car that allegedly mowed down 32-year-old Siddharth Sharma in north Delhi’s posh Civil Lines area.
Police booked the suspect for culpable homicide not a mounting to murder and asked the JJB to try him as an adult.

The JJB’s decision came amid a government push to hold parents accountable when their children get behind the wheel and cause accidents.
The government wants to amend the motor vehicles (MV) act to introduce a provision to charge the parents of juvenile drivers involved in crashes and send the errant minors to do community service.
Cases of underage drivers causing fatal crashes are on the rise in India, where a person dies every four minutes in road accidents.