The Allahabad High Court has observed that learner’s driving licence and voter identity card should not be taken into consideration while determining the age of a juvenile in conflict with law. Justice Rahul Chaturvedi made the observation while quashing an order of a special court in Bulandshahr which rejected an application moved on behalf of one Naushad Ali, booked for rape under the POCSO Act, for declaring him to be a juvenile.
Ali’s counsel argued in the high court that the trial court had relied upon his voter ID according to which his date of birth was April 7, 1994, thus making him a major during the commission of the crime. The counsel submitted that he had passed the high school examination in 2015 and in the certificate his date of birth is mentioned as March 4, 2001, but the special court did not considered it.
After hearing the counsels for the parties on Friday, the high court observed, “The learned Special Judge, POCSO Act has grossly erred in law while relying upon the learning (driving) licence of the revisionist (Ali) and voter ID card, because none of these documents should be taken into account while determining the age of a juvenile.” “When in the high school certificate the age of the revisionist is mentioned, which is available before the learned Special Judge, POCSO Act, he has to determine the age of the revisionist after taking into account the high school certificate alone, but he has not done so and has wrongly rejected the claim of juvenality relying upon the documents which are not categorized in the Juvenile Justice Act,” the high court observed.