Prefer matriculation certificate over medical opinion for juvenile status: SC
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 7: Matriculation or school leaving certificate should be relied upon over medical report to determine the age of a juvenile, the Supreme Court has ruled.
Quashing murder charges against an accused, a bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said medical examination of a person to determine the juvenile status can be resorted to only in the absence of other relevant materials like the school transfer or matriculation certificate.
"We are also satisfied that Rule 12 of the Rules which was brought in pursuance of the Act describes four categories of evidence which have been provided in which preference has been given to school certificate over the medical report," the apex court said.
"The additional sessions judge and the high court committed an error in taking contrary view. While upholding the decision of the Board, we set aside the orders of the additional sessions judge dated 13.01.2009 and the High Court dated 10.12.2010," Justice Sathasivam writing the judgement said.
The apex court passed the judgement upholding the appeal filed by Shah Nawaz challenging his prosecution in a murder case. The FIR against Nawaz and three others was lodged on June 4, 2007 by Khatizan, widow of the deceased.
However, the Juvenile Justice Board ruled that Nawaz cannot be tried for the murder as he was a juvenile on the date of the offence, and his date of birth was June 18, 1989 as per his school certificate and mark-sheet produced by the authorities.
On an appeal from the complainant, the sessions court directed his prosecution after relying upon a medical report which stated that he was over 18 years and not entitled to any immunity.
Nawaz challenged the decision in the Allahabad High Court which dismissed his plea following which he appealed in the apex court.
"The documents furnished above clearly show that the date of birth of the appellant had been noted as 18.06.1989. Rule 12 of the Rules categorically envisages that the medical opinion from the medical board should be sought only when the matriculation certificate or school certificate or any birth certificate issued by a corporation or by any panchayat or municipality is not available. We are of the view that though the Board has correctly accepted the entry relating to the date of birth in the mark sheet and school certificate, the additional sessions judge and the high court committed a grave error in determining the age of the appellant ignoring the date of birth mentioned in those documents which is illegal, erroneous and contrary to the Rules," the apex court said while quashing the charges against him.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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