The Mumbai police have decided to do a bone test to ascertain whether the first accused to be arrested in the photojournalist gangrape case is a minor or not.
But the finding might not stand up in court because the test would give only an age-range, lawyers and experts said.
His age became a matter of contention after his grandmother said he was a minor, and should therefore be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Though the crime branch said the alleged offender was 18, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) documents show he was born on February 26, 1997, which means he is now sixteen and a half years old.
The BMC’s public health department registers births on the basis of information given by hospitals.
“We have not yet been approached by the police for information in this regard. If they do, we will provide them the details,” said a medical health officer of the corporation.
The court is likely to rely on other documentary evidence such as the school-leaving certificate.
Senior advocate Majeed Memon said, “The court will check if the birth certificate is genuine. If the birth certificate and the test show contradictory results it would depend upon the judge.”