The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Union Government on a public interest litigation seeking striking down of Sub Rule 3 of Rule 12 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules 2007 and The Delhi Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules 2009 for being ultra vires and unconstitutional.

Issuing the notice, a Division Bench of Justice Darmar Murugesan and Justice V. K. Jain asked the Government to file a reply to the petition by May 3, the next date of hearing.

The petitioner, advocate R. K. Tarun, submitted that there was a lot of confusion between the two Rules notified by the Centre and the Delhi Government regarding the procedure to be followed and the records to be relied upon to decide the juvenility in case of claim for the same raised by accused.

He submitted that the Union Government Rules said that chronologically the documents to be relied upon for deciding the juvenility are: (1) date of birth mentioned in the matriculation certificate or equivalent to it (2) school leaving certificate and (3) the birth certificate issued by the municipal corporation or the village panchayat while the Delhi Rules gave priority to the school leaving certificate, then to the birth certificate issued by the municipal corporation or the village panchayat and finally to the Matriculation certificate or documents equivalent to it.

He stated that this had created a lot of confusion among the courts on deciding the juvenility of accused and different presiding officers adopted different procedures and relied on different documents to reach the age of a juvenile accused.

He submitted that there should be uniformity in the procedure to be adopted and the documents to be relied upon to determine the juvenility of an accused. Further, he submitted that the matriculation certificate or documents equivalent to it should be relied upon only with the contemporaneous documents.

Keywords: juvenility

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