Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court | Vivek Agarwal*, J., held that the Aadhaar Card being a unique identification card issued by the Indian Government, cannot be relied upon to determine the age of a prosecutrix in cases under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Rules, 2012.

In the instant matter, the Special Judge (POCSO), District Jabalpur vide order dated 08-04-2023, rejected the application filed by the accused seeking submission of original Aadhaar card as a proof of date of birth of the prosecutrix and photocopy of which was already available on record. Aggrieved by the impugned order passed by the Special Judge (POCSO), the accused preferred a criminal revision before this Court challenging the same.

The Court relied on Jarnail Singh v. State of Haryana, (2013) 7 SCC 263, and observed that the provisions of the JJ Act, 2015, and JJ Rules are mandatory and have precedence over other provisions, therefore, one only needs to make a reference to R. 12 of the JJ Rules, 2007 for determination of age of a minor.

“…since Aadhar card is not a proof of age of the prosecutrix and her age is to be necessarily determined in terms of Rule 12 of the Rules of 2007 or Section 94 of the Act of 2015.”

The Court held that since there is no provision with respect to Aadhaar Card being used as proof of age for presumption and determination of age for a minor prosecutrix, Rule 12 of the JJ Rules, 2007 and S. 94 of JJ Act, 2015 must be used for determination of her age.

While dismissing the revision petition, the Court upheld the impugned order passed by the Trial Court rejecting petitioner’s application for seeking original Aadhar Card of the prosecutrix as evidence of her age.

[Manoj Kumar Yadav v. State of M.P., Criminal Revision No. 1641 of 2023, order dated 19-04-2023]

*Judgment by Justice Vivek Agarwal

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Kartik Jaggi, Counsel for the Petitioner;

Mr. Manas Mani Verma, Counsel for the Respondent.

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