Claim of Juvenility II

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 stands repealed by The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. The procedure for determining age is now part of Section 94 of 2015 Act which was earlier provided under Rule 12 of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007.

Jyoti Prakash Rai v. State of Bihar, (2008) 15 SCC 223 held, medical report determining age of a person has never been considered by Courts to be conclusive in nature. Mukarrab v. State of U.P., (2017) 2 SCC 210 observed, a blind and mechanical view regarding age of a person cannot be adopted solely on basis of medical opinion by radiological examination. Babloo Pasi v. State of Jharkhand, (2008) 13 SCC 133 held, it is neither feasible nor desirable to lay down an abstract formula to determine age of a person. Ramdeo Chauhan v. State of Assam, (2001) 5 SCC 714 held, ossification test may provide a surer basis for determining age of an individual than opinion of a medical expert but it can by no means be so infallible and accurate so as to indicate exact date of birth of person concerned.

Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta, Manoj @ Monu @ Vishal Chaudhary v. State of Haryana, [Criminal Appeal No. 207 of 2022].


On date of incident [10.09.1982], The Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 was not in force. What was in force was The Children Act, 1960. Special Leave to Appeal (Criminal) No. 6048 of 2016 came to be dismissed on 16.08.2016. On and with effect from 15.01.2016, The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 came into force.  

In those cases where plea of juvenility is raised at a belated stage, often certain medical tests are resorted to in absence of documents enumerated in Section 94 of 2015 Act. It is trite, standard of proof for determination of age is ‘degree of probability’ and not ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

It will be in fitness of things if Vinod Katara is once again subjected to tests at Civil Hospital, Allahabad.

Hon’ble Justice J.B. Pardiwala, Vinod Katara v. State of Uttar Pradesh, [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 121 of 2022] decided on 12.09.2022.