Claim of juvenility can be raised at any stage, even after the final disposal of the case: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court passed an order dated 16th January, 2023, ABC v/s State of Haryana (CRM-M-44156-2016 (O&M), wherein the court held that the petitioner can claim plea of juvenility according to the date of commission of crime. The case was presided over by Honourable Mr. Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu and Honourable Mr. Justice Lalit Batra.


In the following case, the petitioner was convicted and sentenced in the year 2012 under sections 148,302,307,323,364 IPC. The crime committed by the petitioner dates back 30/10/1995. Here, the petitioner contended that at the commission of the crime, he was of 16 years of age. The petitioner was not a juvenile in applicability of the Juvenile Justice Act of  According to the Act of 1986, the juvenility of a boy was upto the sixteenth year. However, under the Juvenile (care and protection of children) Act 2000, the age for males was raised to 18 years and the date of the petitioner’s arrest was 21/10/2011. The petitioner contended that during the pendency of the trial, the Juvenile Act of 2000 had come into force, and under Section 482 of the CrPC moved the High Court.


The division bench referred to Pratap Singh v/s State of Jharkhand (2005) 3 SCC 551 and specifically held Section 20 of the 2000 Act. It was held that “even if the juvenile ceases to be so on or before the date of commencement of this Act and the provisions of this Act shall apply as if the said provisions had been in force, for all purposes and at all material times when the alleged offence was committed.”

Similarly, Section 7-A of the Act of 2000 states that claim of juvenility can thus be raised before any Court, at any stage, even after final disposal of the case and if the Court finds a person to be a juvenile on the date of commission of the offence, it is to forward the juvenile to the Board for passing appropriate orders. An order passed otherwise would have no effect.

Under Section 12(3) of the Act, documents to establish the juvenility is mentioned. The petitioner placed on record his school leaving certificated which dated 19/05/1989. Therefore, it was established by the division bench that the petitioner at the commission of crime was a juvenile under the Juvenile Act of 2000, as he was convicted for the crime in the year 2011. Further, the sessions court was directed to examine the claim of juvenility and submit the report to the High Court.

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