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Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court. Do you have a question? Email us at

Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

CHENNAI: Records on children in conflict with law to be kept confidential

Q. My son, during his young days, was detained by highway police on finding some objectionable stuff on his two-wheeler. He was suspected to be a courier, but with nothing substantial established, cops let him off. Now, he has cleared a job test, and it is learnt that the company will be holding a local inquiry. Though I never encountered any wrongdoing on my child’s part before or after that incident, I am clueless about what to do in case local police give a negative remark about him. Up to what age will a child be exempted from criminal liability? Will approaching the police in advance be of help? Or will I be unnecessarily dragging to their memory a forgotten case? I am scared of my son losing the job offer – Ramadevi Shanmugham, Vyasarpadi

A. Verification of the character of an appointee is always done by the government. The prospective appointee is given a declaration form in which one column relates to criminal conduct. If anyone makes a false statement, he/she can be removed on that score. For a private employer, there is no bar in verifying the past conduct of a prospective appointee. As per Indian laws, no criminal case can be filed against a child under seven. Between eight and 18 years, if the child commits any offence – called ‘child in conflict with law’ – it will be tried before the Juvenile Justice Board. It is not a punishment and the records of those proceedings are kept confidential. You don’t need to worry about such an event.

Cases of sorcery, black magic can be booked under IPC too

Q. A woman’s relative harms her by indulging in witchcraft and sorcery out of ego, hatred, and jealousy. The question here is whether there will be any action or penalty against those who practise witchcraft and do wrong to others. Most often, the crime goes unnoticed. In such a case, how can a victim seek justice? – Nazir Hayath Basha, Chennai

A. Maharashtra and a few other states have laws to punish those who practise black magic. Tamil Nadu has yet to enact one such law. However, such persons who practise sorcery and black magic can be punished under the IPC also. One will have to put up a formal complaint with the police.

Justice K Chandru Retd
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