HC refuses to hear plea on procedure for determining minority

The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a petition seeking a direction to all lower courts to adopt a uniform procedure in ascertaining the age of a person who claims to be juvenile.

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said, "The petition is dismissed as withdrawn. The petition is not entertained as the rules framed under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act have not been challenged."

The court, however, granted R K Tarun, an advocate who had filed the PIL, the liberty to file a fresh petition on the issue.

"Firstly, the birth certificate issued by a civic body is allowed and in its absence, the school certificate is relied upon and if both are not there, then ossification test is the method to ascertain minority of a person," the court said.

The PIL had sought a direction to all trial courts to adopt uniform procedure for determining the age of an accused in cases pending before them.

"There is no uniformity among the trial courts regarding the procedure to be adopted for determining the juvenility rather there is lot of confusion and contradiction among the trial courts while applying their judicial minds regarding the documents which is to be relied upon while determining the claim of juvenility," it said.

It further said, "In the December 16 Delhi gang-rape case, the Juvenile Justice Board at the time of determining the age of the accused relied upon a certificate provided by the government primary school in Badaun, without going into any enquiry for determining the juvenility, which is actually required by the law."

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