Criminal Appeal No. 1081 of 2019 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 156 of 2019)
Section 364A The Indian Penal Code, 1860 Article 136 of The Constitution of India, 1949 Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 Section 7A of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 Rule 12(3)(a) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007
On October 28, 2015, A First Information Report was filed by the appellant in the district of Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh which was recorded as Case Crime 252 of 2016 under Section 364A of the Penal Code. The accusation was that the appellant got a phone call from an undetermined number and the caller wanted to speak to his son, asserting to be his teacher. The appellant’s son, who was thirteen years old and was studying in 8th grade in a public school in Shikohabad. After calling back on the number, the appellant’s son left his shop and never returned. The victim is alleged to have been murdered after demanding for ransom. Victim’s body was supposed to be found in a canal. The second respondent was arrested during the investigation. On December 9, 2020, the accused filed an application claiming to be a juvenile on the date of the offence, under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. Accused submitted that on the date of the alleged offence, the accused was sixteen years ten months and 11 days old. In support of the assertion, the accused relied on an enrollment certificate issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi reflecting his date of birth as December 17, 1998. By an order dated July 2, 2016, the Juvenile Justice Board allowed the application of the second accused and announced him to be a juvenile on the date of the claimed offence. The appellant initiated the criminal appeal before the session court judge, Firozabad. Session judge ordered for the medical examination for the determination of the age of the accused-2. The Chief Medical Examiner, Agra constituted aboard for the examination, and the report (dated November 19, 2916) found that the age of the second accused was about nineteen years. Aggrieved by the decision the second accused filed a revision petition before the honourable High Court but was withdrawn later. Aggrieved by the decision of Session’s Court, the second respondent moved to The High Court, Allahabad in a criminal revision. The High Court allowed the revision and declared that on the date of the offence committed the offence was minor. The importance was given to the Matriculation Certificate issued by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, Delhi over any “date of birth” mentioned in other documentary evidence. The decision of JJB was affirmed, and Juvenility was allowed. Notice was issued under Article 136 of The Constitution (Special Leave Petition) was instituted in the apex court On January 14, 2019.
Whether the validity of matriculation certificate issued by CBSE to be held valid?
The Supreme Court of India issued a notice to CBSE and directed to produce all the required documents related to the second respondent. CBSE filed an affidavit explaining the basis on which the date of birth was recorded in matriculation certificate. For apex court, it becomes necessary to adjudge whether the High Court, in the purview of revision jurisdiction, was explained in overruling the view of learned Session Court that the second accused was not a juvenile.
CBSE has stated before the apex court that the date recorded in the matriculation certificate is entirely based on information submitted by the “Maa Anjani Senior Secondary School, Shikohabad”. The Headmaster of the school was enquired, and statement given by her was that the information about the second accused is as per the submission by a parent during the admission in the 5th standard of the accused earlier the accused was in “Saket Vidyasthali, Jedajhal, Firozabad” where the date of birth was motioned as December 17, 1995, in register and Transfer Certificate also contains the same.
Given the Supreme Court the date of birth mentioned in Transfer Certificate of the Second respondent granted by “Saket Vidyasthali, Jedajhal, Firozabad” is matching the date of birth in aadhar card, driving license and voter ID seized during the investigation which is December 17, 1995. It is clear from the above analysis that the date of birth which was forwarded to Maa Anjani Senior Secondary School, Shikohabad was the sole basis of recording the date of birth in matriculation certificate. And the record of the date of birth in school where the Second respondent was a student from 5th grade till 10th grade is without any basal documentation as stated by the principle of the school. In this court view, the reversal by the High Court of Session Judge's judgement, in this case, was solely based on matriculation or enrollment certificate of 10th grade. For these reasons, the apex court described that the date of birth as reflected in matriculation certificate couldn’t be accepted as an authentic and credible source of documentary evidence.
The Supreme Court in the present case held that the date of birth of the second respondent is December 17, 1995, and he is not entitled to claim of Juvenility as of the date of the offence (August 18 2015). The Special Leave Petition was allowed, and by the impugned order, the decision of the High Court was quashed and set aside and in consequence, shall stand dismissed. And the decision of the Session’s Judge shall be maintained and the second respondent should be dealt by the law.
Civil Appellate Jurisdiction
Clause 45.2 of the General Conditions of Contract, Orissa Sales Tax Act, 1947