the Allahabad High Court Friday observed that learning the driver’s license and voter ID card should not be taken into account in determining the age of a minor.
With this, the Bench of Judge Rahul Chaturvedi quashed the order of the Special Judge, POCSO Law/Additional Sessions Judge, Bulandshahar dismissing a request made on behalf of a certain Naushad Ali (revisionist), charged with rape and sexual assault with penetration (under the law POCSO), for declaring him a minor.
The case in brief
Essentially, Ali had moved to HC by filing the instant review plea against the order of Special Judge, POCSO Law/Additional Sessions Judge, Bulandshahar. The Lower Court, relying on his voter card, ruled that on the date of the incident, the revisionist was of legal age since his date of birth is April 7, 1994.
The revisionist’s lawyer, Suresh Kumar Mauryaargued that Ali’s high school certificate clearly stated that he had passed the Board of High School and Intermediate Education UP’s 2015 high school exam, and in the certificate his date of birth listed as 4 March 2001.
It was also argued that the lower court, when determining the age of the revisionist, failed to take into account the documents listed in section 94(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and had refused to declare him (revisionist), a minor. .
After having read the contested order, the Court observed that the special judge, POCSO law, had roughly erred in law, while relying on the revisionist’s learner’s (driving) permit and the voter’s ID card, as the Court pointed out, neither of these documents should be taken taken into account in determining the age of a minor.
The Court also noted that when in the secondary school certificate, the age of the revisionist was mentioned, and which was available before the special judge, POCSO law, he should have determined the age of the revisionist after taking into account the only high school certificate. .
Therefore, finding that the Court wrongly dismissed the allegation of youthfulness by relying on the documents which are not classified in the 2015 Act, the Court quashed the contested order and the case was sent back to the lower court with an instruction to reconsider and reconsider visit the whole case once more and decide the case again.
The Court was also instructed to consider the revisionist’s high school certificate and decide the case after authenticating and evaluating its authenticity, and issue a well-reasoned order on the merits, strictly in accordance with the law in a eight week period.
With the aforementioned direction, this revision is eliminated.
Case title – Naushad Ali v. UP State through Home Secretary and another
Case quote: 2022 LiveLaw (All) 170
Click here to read/download the order