A person who had been charged for murder when he was 17 years old was granted bail by the Karnataka High Court on the ground that he had already been in custody for 2.5 years and the maximum punishment for a juvenile is imprisonment for 3 years. .Justice HP Sandesh allowed the petition in a case where there were 21 other accused, all adults."Admittedly, this petitioner is aged about 17 years as on the date of the incident. No doubt, there are several other accused persons, this Court has already granted bail in favour of accused No.1 and other accused persons are on bail. Apart from that, the maximum punishment in respect of the petitioner is concerned is 3 years and not more than that ... When such being the case and the petitioner is in custody from the last 2½ years, I am of the opinion that, it is a fit case to exercise the discretion to enlarge the petitioner on bail," the Court said. .The petitioner had filed applications for bail before the Juvenile Justice Board and then an appellate court, but both were rejected. .It was argued by the petitioner that the only allegation against him was that he conspired with the other adult accused persons. He had been in custody since September 2019 and the object of Section 12 (bail for a juvenile) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act had not been considered by the board or court. Moreover, the other accused persons have already been released on bail, it was pointed out. .The State submitted that the petitioner had participated in the murder of two persons, which is a heinous offence, and being in custody for the last two-and-a-half years is not a ground to release him on bail. .However, the single-judge turned down the State's contention and proceeded to grant him bail on a personal bond of ₹2 lakh with two sureties, and directions not to tamper with prosecution evidence. .Advocate Prem Kumar represented the petitioner while High Court Government Pleader Rashmi Yadav appeared for the State.