Rules Regarding Age-Determination Procedure Under Juvenile Justice Act are Not Unconstitutional

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The Delho High Court in the case of R.K Tarun v. Union of India, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 13461 on 19.11.15, dismissed a writ petition raising issues against the procedural rules, (both the State made rules and the model rules) to be followed for determination of age of a juvenile in conflict with law. The petitioner in the present case contended violation of Article 14 on the ground that the birth certificate issued by the local body is the most valid document and therefore the same should have been given first preference while making the inquiry into the determination of age and hence the procedure prescribed under both the Model Rules and the State, which gives preference first preference to Matriculation or equivalent certificates; second preference to the date of birth certificate from the school first attended and third preference to birth certificate given by a local body. Rule 12(3) of the State Rules (Delhi Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2009) gives first preference to the date of birth certificate from the school first attended; second preference to the birth certificate given by a local body and third preference to the matriculation or equivalent certificates.

Dismissing the writ petition, the court said that the petitioner failed to show how these Rules are violative of Article 14.The court said “May be according to the petitioner, it would be more reasonable to give first preference to the birth certificate issued by the local body, however, no enactment can be struck down on the ground that the court thinks it unjustified. The legislation by the Parliament or the delegated legislation are supposed to be made keeping in view the needs of the people and what is good and bad for them. The court, therefore, cannot sit in judgment over their wisdom.” The bench further clarified that the State needs to follow the procedure prescribed in the State rules, which give preference to gives first preference to the date of birth certificate from the school first attended; second preference to the birth certificate given by a local body and third preference to the matriculation or equivalent certificates.

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