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Supreme Court states that Plea of Juvenility has to be raised in Bonafide and truthful manner

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Supreme Court Law Insider

Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: February 16, 2022 at 16:53 IST

The Supreme Court of India on February 15, 2022 ruled that when an Accused Person is seeking a Plea of Juvenility then the documents that the said person is submitting in order to prove Juvenility, should not malicious or dubious in nature.

The Supreme Court Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian was hearing a Plea filed by an Accused Person, who was challenging an Order of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, wherein the High Court had rejected his Plea to be treated as a Juvenile during the Trial of the Case.

Earlier, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana had set aside an Order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Fatehabad, wherein the Sessions Court had found the current Petitioner to be of the age of 16 years, 8 months and 5 days at the time of the occurrence of the incident, according to an Ossification Report. However, the actual age of the Petitioner was stated to be either 23 years or 24 years, according to an assessment done by a Board of Doctors.

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana while rejecting the Plea of the Accused person, relied upon the Family Register prepared under the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Maintenance of Family Register) Rules, 1970.

In light of all the facts and observations made, the Supreme Court Division Bench observed that, “The Appellant sought to rely upon Juvenility only on the basis of school leaving record in his Application filed under Section 7A of the 2000 Act. Such school record is not reliable and seems to be procured only to support the Plea of Juvenility.”

The Bench then further stated that, “The Appellant has not referred to date of birth certificate in his Application as it was obtained subsequently. Needless to say, the Plea of Juvenility has to be raised in a Bonafide and truthful manner.”

Hence, the Supreme Court Division Bench rejected the Plea of the Accused Person and upheld the Order of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.