Not all those who steal are punished even if they are found guilty, at least not if the theft was carried out because of helplessness and sheer poverty. A 16-year-old boy was released by the police after a Nalanda court ordered the release of the boy, who was detained for theft. Not only this, the court in Bihar further ordered the administration to provide food, clothes and other necessities to the boy and his family. The Judge learnt during the court proceedings that the accused was forced to steal for his widow mother, and younger brother, who had not eaten for days due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The block development officer was issued orders to help the boy's mother get benefits under the widow pension scheme of the state government.
Judicial officer Manvendra Mishra, who proved to be a 'Messiah' for the boy and his family during such testing times, also ordered the BDO, R.P. Priyadarshi, to allot funds under the government's housing scheme for the poor and help the boy get his Aadhar card and the family's ration card as soon as possible.
The police sources stated that the boy ran after snatching a woman's purse, who was shopping at the local market a few days ago. The Islampur police detained the boy after watching the CCTV footage. The boy was later produced before the juvenile justice board at Biharsharif.
According to the statement given by a judicial clerk, who quoted the boy, the juvenile had started earning and feeding his mother, who is mentally unsound, and his younger brother after his father passed away. But the lockdown led to no jobs and no money and eventually no food at all. This forced the boy to resort to stealing as he had a very hungry family at home to feed.
The boy added further that his mother lost her mental balance after his father passed away. He lives with his family at a makeshift house in a village under Islampur police station.
He said that he used to work at local eating joints and dhabas or people's houses as domestic help. But the lockdown left no means of earning and his family was on the brink of starvation, which prompted him to commit the crime.
According to Islampur SHO Sharad Kumar Ranjan, the boy's family was provided with food on the direction of the court immediately.