The Supreme Court has set aside an Allahabad High Court judgement which had quashed criminal proceedings against an accused on the ground that he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged offence.
The apex court in its order said the high court had come to an "abrupt" conclusion that the accused Sonu was a juvenile merely on the basis of a doctor's report.
"Strangely the high court relied upon a certificate from a doctor which did not even indicate the basis on which it was observed that the radiology age of respondent No 1 (Sonu) was about 18 years," a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly observed.
However, the apex court permitted Sonu to produce any credible evidence before the Fast Track Court Muzaffarnagar, UP to prove that he was a juvenile to enjoy immunity from prosecution under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act.
Under the JJ Act, a person below 18 years of age cannot be tried for a criminal offence. Invoking the Act, Sonu had claimed that his date of birth was January 1, 1989 and he was a juvenile at the time of a criminal incident in 2007.
In support of his claim, Sonu had produced various records, including his school certificate and statements of his parents as well before the Fast Track Court.
However, objections were filed by the state and the complainant claiming that Sonu was a major on the date of crime.