In the case of, Gajab Singh versus State of Haryana
Hon'ble Justice Rajbir
Sherawat held that:
The matriculation certificate no more enjoys the exclusive
privilege the scope of Section 94 (3) of the new Juvenile Justice (Care and
Protection of Children) Act which has superseded the earlier provisions laid
down in the Rules. A new provision has been enacted in the Act itself Also , the
court dismissed the petition of the petitioner considering himself as a
Coram: Hob'ble Justice Rajbir Sherawat -
Present: Mr. Ankur Lal, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. M.D. Sharma, AAG, Haryana.
Mr. Rituraj Singh, Advocate, for Mr. Gutam Dutt, Advocate for the complainant.
The petitioner was involved in a case under Sections 148, 149, 307, 506, 452 IPC. To avoid full rigour of criminal law, the petitioner had filed application for
declaring him as a juvenile; claiming that he was less than 18 years at the time
of commission of offence and hence, he should be tried by Juvenile Justice Board.
Aggrieved against the order passed by the Court of Judicial Magistrate, the
petitioner preferred an appeal before the Court of Additional Sessions Judge,
Faridabad. However, the lower appellate Court also dismissed the appeal and
upheld the order passed by the Judicial Magistrate. Accordingly, it was ordered
that the petitioner would be taken as an adult and not a juvenile. And then the
petitioner approached the High Court.
The petitioner filed the petition challenging the order passed by the Additional
Sessions Judge and dismissing an appeal against the order passed by Judicial
Magistrate First Class, Faridabad, whereby the application of the petitioner for
declaring him as a juvenile was rejected.
Contentions by Petitioner:
Contentions by Complainant:
- As per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules,
2007 , Rule 12 prescribed the procedure to be followed for determination of
age, where an accused claims to be juvenile.
- It is submitted that as per the provisions of the Rule 12, the primacy
has to be given to the matriculation certificate, if available.
- The first certificate i.e. matriculation certificate itself is
available, therefore, the other certificates are excluded, per se, from the
consideration for the purpose of determination of age of the petitioner, and
as per the date mentioned in the matriculation certificate, the petitioner
is a juvenile.
- The learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon judgments of
Supreme Court rendered in Siba Bisoyi vs. State of Odisha, 2017(4) R.C.R.
(Criminal) 409, Lok Nath Pandey vs. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Another and
many other judgements.
Judgement by District Court:
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has
superseded the earlier provisions laid down in the Rules. A new provision
has been enacted in the Act itself.
- As per the provision , the matriculation certificate no more enjoys the
place of primacy, while determining the age of the accused
- The date of birth of the petitioner is mentioned differently in all the
- Admission record in the said third previous school does not testify the
date of birth as mentioned in the matriculation certificate. Hence, both the
Courts below have rightly declined the application moved by the petitioner.
This court relied upon the date of birth of the petitioner as mentioned in the
Government Primary School While dealing with the evidence on file, the Courts
below have recorded that the petitioner has claimed to be admitted in school in
first class and there his date of birth was recorded.
petitioner had taken admission in another School, on the basis of School Leaving
Certificate issued by previous school. Therefore, it is this date which has
come in the Matriculation Certificate.
However, the record, as brought on the
court file, shows that the date of birth i.e. 23.07.1999, as mentioned in Gangotri Modern Senior Secondary School and Jai Bharat School, itself is based
upon date of birth mentioned in Sai Senior Secondary School, where it is
differently recorded as 26.08.2003.. Therefore, the Courts below have refused to
believe the matriculation certificate; which carries the date of birth of the
petitioner as 23.07.1999. Aggrieved against the order passed by lower appellate
Court, petitioner has filed the present revision petition.
Judgement by High Court:
The court held that Both the Courts below have committed a grave illegality by
not following the provisions of the above mentioned Rule, while determining the
age of the petitioner. Court finds no substance in the arguments raised by the
learned counsel for the petitioner. No evidence was led in that case to find out
the actual age of the petitioner. Hence, the fact that the petitioner is being
tried as a juvenile in another case, cannot be taken as a relevant factor for
the determination of the age of the petitioner in the present case.
It is for the Court/Board to take a final call on the date of birth of the
accused, in view of either of these documents or coupled with other attending
circumstances, which might have come on the record of the case.Although the
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 had given a place
of primacy to the matriculation certificate, over the other proofs of date of
birth of the accused, however, that provision stands replaced by the Act, 2015.
A new provision governs the procedure for determination of the age of the
accused now. The relevant provisions of the Act, as contained in Section 94
which talks about the presumption and determination of age. The court further
stated that assessment can be done on physical appearance or even on the basis
of the examination by other method like putting basic question to adjudge the
age and understanding of the accused. In any case, if there is any doubt in the
mind of the Court/Board, then the provision prescribes that, it is the birth
certificate given by the school or the date of birth as mentioned in the