Bombay HC rejects plea of rape accused claiming to be minor while Aadhaar shows he is 21

Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a rape accused who claims to be 17 years old while his Aadhaar shows he is 21.

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Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a rape accused who claims to be 17 years old. The man was arrested by Ghatkopar police under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act as his Aadhaar card showed him to be above 21 years.

The accused has now claimed that he was minor and his Aadhaar card details were erroneous.

The FIR was registered by the father of the victim after she became pregnant and delivered a baby at the Nair hospital in Mumbai. The accused, a daily wage earner who hails from Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on March 19 following which he filed an application to be treated as a minor.

Advocate Prakash Wagh appearing for the accused told the division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik that the report card issued by his school and the school leaving certificate showed that he was a minor.

Wagh also harped on the ossification test conducted by doctors “which showed that he was aged between 18 and 19 in the month of June. So, at the time of his arrest the accused was short of three months of 18. His certificates showed that he was born on 15 May 2003”.

The lower court had rejected this contention of the accused and during the hearing, Bombay High Court asked, “The details of the Aadhaar card were given by the accused, so how can that be wrong? The documents provided by the person are seen and then your eyes and fingers are scanned so one has to be present when Aadhaar is made. So how can Aadhaar not be right?”

Government pleader YP Yagnik too argued that the school certificate issued by the school in Uttar Pradesh says that it is a girls’ school while the accused is male. Wagh tried to counter that argument by stating that the name of the school states that it is a girls’ school but it is actually a place where both boys and girls study.

However, the court did not agree with Wagh’s contention and dismissed his plea.

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