New Delhi, Feb 27: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the central government on a PIL seeking direction to all district courts on the procedure to be adopted and records relied upon while considering a plea for determining the juvenility of an accused.
A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain sought the response of the home ministry and law ministry in this regard by April 3.
The petition by advocate R.K. Tarun said no two courts are uniform in determining the juvenility of an accused. Even if two such cases come up before the same trial court, the procedure adopted by it for determining the juvenility are different, it added.
“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,” said the PIL.
The plea also challenged some of the rules of the juvenile justice act.
“Declare the Sub Rule (3) of Rule 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules and the Delhi Juvenile Justice Rules as ultra vires and unconstitutional,” it said.
“…Remove the confusion and difference of opinion due to lack of clarity on the subject due to vague contempt in the juvenile justice act, and regarding the procedure to be adopted for determining the claim of juvenility and the relevant record which can be relied upon for the purpose of the same.”
It added that in the Dec 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 determining the juvenility, which was required by law.
The petition asked the court to consider whether a “certificate issued by a school regarding date of a person in absence of any contemporaneous record” should be considered to be “an authentic proof of the date of birth of a person as per the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 or not?”