The Delhi High Court has ruled that only an ossification test conducted by a medical board is valid in determining the age of an accused in the absence of school records and not one carried out by a single-member team.
“Juvenile Justice Act envisages that to determine the age of the offender based on ossification test the report must come from a duly constituted medical board and not from any single member team who alone may not be competent to give the correct opinion (sic),” Justice Kailash Gambhir said.
The judge said the board must comprise at least one dentist, one general physician and one radiologist.
The court was hearing a petition filed by a murder accused challenging a trial court order rejecting his plea to transfer his case to a Juvenile Justice Board, claiming that he was a juvenile.
The trial judge did not have the benefit of the accused’s school records as he found certain discrepancies in the document. Following this, he relied on a bone test that was conducted by a single-member panel and declared the accused an adult on the date of commission of the crime.
“The court does not find infirmity, illegality or perversity in the order of the sessions judge who after disbelieving the school records placed reliance on the ossification test report,” Justice Gambhir said, asking the trial judge to conduct a fresh test.