The Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered the Thane police (rural) to verify the birth certificate of a murder convict, who has claimed that he was 13-year-old when he was arrested for committing the crime.
A division bench of Justice Dilip Bhosale and Justice A R Joshi has given the police a week to verify the birth certificate submitted by the convict, Sunil Devram Mhase.
In May 2005, the Thane sessions court had convicted Mhase for a murder he had committed in 2004 and awarded him life imprisonment, apparently despite him claiming to be a juvenile and producing his birth certificate showing his date of birth as July 4, 1991.
The convict, who is serving the life term at Nashik Central Prison, had in January written a letter to the high court, which has now been converted into a petition.
In the letter he urged the high court to release him in accordance with the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act.
His court-appointed lawyer, Murtaza Najmi, contended that he was convicted despite claiming to be a juvenile and submitting his birth certificate.
Najmi, however, added that the claim of he was juvenile could be considered even after conviction in accordance with a landmark ruling given by the high court. The matter will now come up for further hearing on March 24.