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Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (“the J.J. Act, 2000”) – whether the appellant was ‘a juvenile’ within the meaning of the term ‘juvenile’ as defined under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (“the J.J. Act, 2000”) when the offence was committed and whether the plea of juvenility can be raised by him at this stage. Apex court held that Proviso to Section 7-A states that a claim of juvenility may be raised before any court and it shall be recognized at any stage, even after final disposal of the case, and such claim shall be determined in terms of the provisions contained in the J.J. Act, 2000 and the rules made thereunder even if the juvenile has ceased to be so on or before the date of commencement of the J.J. Act, 2000. = Kulai Ibrahim @ Ibrahim … Appellant Vs. State Rep. by the Inspector of Police B-1, Bazaar Police Station, Coimbatore. … Respondent = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41739

Juvenile Justice  (Care  and  Protection  of Children) Act, 2000 (“the J.J. Act, 2000”) – whether the appellant was ‘a  juvenile’  within  the  meaning  of  the  term ‘juvenile’ as defined under the Juvenile Justice  (Care  and  Protection  of Children) Act, 2000 (“the J.J. Act, 2000”) when the  offence  was  committed and whether the plea of juvenility can be raised by him at this stage. Apex court held that Proviso to Section 7-A  states  that a claim of juvenility may be  raised  before  any  court  and  it  shall  be recognized at any stage, even after final disposal of  the  case,  and  such claim shall be determined in terms of the provisions contained in  the  J.J. Act, 2000 and the rules made thereunder even if the juvenile has  ceased  to be so on or before the date of commencement of the J.J. Act, 2000. =

The case of the appellant is that  as  on  2/9/1997,  when  the

offence was committed, he was 17 years and 4 months’ old.  Section  2(k)  of

the J.J. Act, 2000 defines ‘juvenile’ as a person who has not  completed  18

years of age.  Section 2(l) defines ‘juvenile in conflict  with  law’  as  a

juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence and has  not  completed

18 years of age as on the date of commission of such offence.=

the appellant was a juvenile  when

the offence was committed and, hence, he cannot be convicted.  =

admittedly the plea of juvenility  was  not

raised by the appellant in the trial court.   It  was  for  the  first  time

raised in the High Court while the appeal was being argued.  The High  Court

has noted in the impugned judgment that the plea of juvenility  was  neither

raised before the trial court, nor raised in the memo of appeal  before  the

High Court.  The High Court noted that no application was filed  before  the

High Court seeking permission to  adduce  evidence  to  establish  that  the

appellant was a juvenile.  The High Court, in  the  circumstances,  rejected

the plea.

whether the appellant was ‘a  juvenile’  within  the  meaning  of  the  term

‘juvenile’ as defined under the Juvenile Justice  (Care  and  Protection  of

Children) Act, 2000 (“the J.J. Act, 2000”) when the  offence  was  committed

and whether the plea of juvenility can be raised by him at this stage.

Proviso to Section 7-A  states  that

a claim of juvenility may be  raised  before  any  court  and  it  shall  be

recognized at any stage, even after final disposal of  the  case,  and  such

claim shall be determined in terms of the provisions contained in  the  J.J.

Act, 2000 and the rules made thereunder even if the juvenile has  ceased  to

be so on or before the date of commencement of the J.J. Act, 2000. =

It is a settled position in law on a  fair  consideration  of  Section

2(k), 2(l), 7-A, 20 and 49 of the J.J. Act, 2000 read with Rules 12  and  98

of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007  (“the

said Rules”) that all persons who were below the age  of  18  years  on  the

date of commission of the offence even prior to 1/4/2001, which is the  date

of commencement of J.J. Act, 2000 could be treated as juveniles even if  the

claim of juvenility is raised after they have attained the age of  18  years

on or before date of the  commencement  of  the  J.J.  Act,  2000  which  is

1/4/2001 and were undergoing sentences upon being convicted (See  Ketankumar

Gopalbhai Tandel   v.   State  of  Gujarat[1]).   Therefore,  the  claim  of

juvenility can be raised by the appellant.

Age determination inquiry” contemplated under Section 7-A  of  the  Act

read with Rule 12 of the 2007 Rules enables the court to seek  evidence  and

in that process, the  court  can  obtain  the  matriculation  or  equivalent

certificates, if available. Only in the  absence  of  any  matriculation  or

equivalent certificates, the  court  needs  to  obtain  the  date  of  birth

certificate from the school first attended other than a  play  school.  Only

in the absence of matriculation or equivalent certificate  or  the  date  of

birth certificate from the school first attended, the court needs to  obtain

the birth certificate given by a corporation or a municipal authority  or  a

panchayat (not an affidavit but certificates or documents).

Thus  in  cases  where

documents mentioned in Section 12(a)(i) to (iii) of the J.J. Act,  2000  are

unavailable or where they are found to be fabricated or manipulated,  it  is

necessary to obtain medical report for age determination of the accused.

In

this case the documents  are  available  but  they  are,  according  to  the

police,  fabricated  or  manipulated  and  therefore  as   per   the   above

observations of this Court if the fabrication is confirmed, it is  necessary

to go for medical report for age  determination  of  the  appellant.   Delay

cannot act as an impediment in seeking medical report as Section 7-A of  the

J.J. Act,  2000  gives  right  to  an  accused  to  raise  the  question  of

juvenility at any point of time even after disposal of the case.  

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41739 – for full text – LAW FOR ALL.

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