New Delhi: Observing that the ossification test to determine an offender`s age should be conducted by a medical board and not by a single judge, the Delhi High Court asked the trial court to decide afresh the plea of a murder accused who claims to be a juvenile.
Allowing a plea, Justice Kailash Gambhir said "the Juvenile Justice (Care And Protection of Children) Rules envisages that to determine the age of the offender based on the ossification test, the report must come from a duly constituted medical board and not from any single member team who alone may not be competent to give the correct opinion."
"...Therefore, this matter deserves to be remanded back to he trial court with a direction to call for a fresh report from a duly constituted medical board of a government hospital comprising a minimum of one dentist, one general physician and one radiologist and take a view on the age of the petitioner...With the settled principles of law.
The court passed the order on a plea by the murder accused against the trial court`s order dismissing his plea for benefit under the Juvenile Justice Act and the school leaving certificate, according to which he was a minor.
The accused also sought the trial court to refer the murder case, registered against him, in 2009 to the JJ Board.
On October 12, 2010 the trial court had rejected the school certificate, issued by his school Principal in Shahajanpur in Uttar Pradesh and ordered for the ossification test to determine his age.
Accepting the test report, according to which the boy was found to be about 20-year old, the court dismissed his application and proceeded with the trial against him.