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‘Even Krishna used to steal butter’: Judge quotes Lord Krishna’s tales to acquit minor boy accused of ‘stealing’ sweets to eat

Juvenile Justice Board of Nalanda district of Bihar acquitted a boy citing the story of Lord Krishna, saying police should not lodge FIR in such a minor case

In an interesting judgment, the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) of Nalanda district of Bihar acquitted a boy citing the story of Lord Krishna. The poor and hungry boy was booked for stealing sweets.

In the acquittal order, judge Manvendra Mishra said that even Lord Krishna used to steal butter and cited the story of Lord Krishna in detail to explain why the boy should not be punished in such a minor case.

The judge also questioned the wisdom of the child welfare police officer for lodging an FIR against a poor boy who stole sweets out of hunger. The court reminded the police that under Bihar Juvenile justice Act 2017, the police should better avoid lodging FIR in a minor case like this.

“Lord Krishna used to steal butter and break earthen pots at the houses of others. This is a famous story of Sanatan Dharma. This we call the Krishna Leela. The boy stole sweets because he was hungry. Better help your neighbours if they are hungry, ill and helpless instead of accusing the government,” the judge observed. The judge reportedly said that when Lord Krishna’s ‘butter theft’ could be considered a naughty act, the boy’s action also should not be considered criminal, as he did it because he didn’t have food. 

The judge further said that people have to be tolerant in matters related to children. “We have to understand that under what circumstances they committed a mistake. We have to understand their situation,” he said. The court added that an FIR should not be registered in such cases, and the matter should have been resolved just by diary entry at the police station. 

The incident took place on September 7 in a village under the Harnaut block of Nalanda district. The boy, a native of Aarah of Bhojpur district, had come to meet his ailing maternal grandmother at Harnaut. His maternal uncle and maternal grandfather died years back. There was none to give him food at the nanihal. Feeling hungry, he entered the neighbouring house, opened the fridge and ate all the sweets kept there. Later on, he picked a mobile phone he found in the house and started playing games on it.

In the meanwhile, the woman of the house arrived and she called the police after seeing the boy.

As he was produced before the juvenile court, his story moved everybody to tears as he recorded his statement. His father is bedridden after an accident and his mother is suffering from mental disorders. He can’t afford her treatment as there is no earning member in the family.

The court asked the complainant and her lawyer if they would sue their children if caught stealing their money. The court directed the senior child welfare officer to make proper arrangements for his education.

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