The Delhi High Court has declared a convict in a kidnapping case a juvenile and reduced his sentence to three years, the maximum period for which a juvenile delinquent can be kept in detention on conviction under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice G. S. Sistani and Justice G. P. Mittal declared Firoz, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the case by the trial court, a juvenile on the basis of a bone ossification test done by a team of doctors on a direction by the Court.

However, counsel for the prosecution challenged it saying that the ossification test report could not be taken as an authentic proof of age as it was difficult to ascertain the exact age in case a person was above 24 years.

Thus, a further inquiry should have been initiated and statements of the parents of the appellant and also his ration card and the election card should have been taken into consideration to determine the convict’s age.

However, the Bench dismissed the plea, saying that these documents could not be accepted.

“Since the appellant has already been incarcerated for more than three years, which would be the maximum period of detention which would have been awarded to the appellant being a juvenile, the appellant be released forthwith, unless wanted in any other case,” the Court ruled.