A Delhi court on Thursday rejected the claim of suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Salman that he was a minor at the time of serial blasts here in September, 2008 and thus, be tried under less stringent laws.
“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, particularly documents recovered from the accused himself and the opinion of the medical board, I am of the view that the age of accused cannot be said to be below 18 years at the time of the incident on September 13, 2008,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja said.
Salman, accused of being involved in the conspiracy to carry out the serial blasts, had pleaded that he be declared a juvenile and tried before the Juvenile Justice Board.
The court also said that even if a margin of two years is taken from the estimated age of 25 years, as on the individual’s examination on March 19 this year, the age of the accused would be around 23 years on September 13, 2008.
It also relied upon a health card issued by the UAE government and a passport issued by Nepali authorities, which had mentioned the date of birth of the accused as May 27, 1985.
Public Prosecutor Rajeev Mohan had submitted that the medical board constituted by the AIIMS to ascertain Salman’s age had opined that Salman could be between 25 and 27 years.
The accused had failed to produce any documentary evidence to substantiate his claim that he was a minor at the time of incident, the prosecutor said.
Salman’s counsel Khalil A. Ansari and Iftikhar Ansari, during the argument, had criticised the opinion of the AIIMS’ medical board on the ground that four of the five doctors had not given separate comments.