Decided on April 02,1982



- (1.) This appeal by special leave is directed against a judgment dated June 29, 1974 of the Rajasthan High Court overruling a preliminary objection taken by the accused before the Sessions Judge to the effect that the Sessions Judge, Tonk, was not competent to try the case as the accused Umesh Chandra was a child as contemplated by the provisions of the Rajasthan Children Act, 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') on the date of the alleged occurrence. This Act appears to have been passed by the Rajasthan Legislature but after receiving assent of the President was enforced in various districts from time to time. Under the provisions of the Act any person below the age of 16 (sixteen) would be presumed to be a child and the trial of the delinquent child was to be conducted in accordance with the procedure laid down therein. The objection taken by the appellant was that as he was below the age of 16 at the time of the occurrence on 12-3-1973, he could not be tried by the Additional Sessions judge, Tonk, or the Additional Sessions Judge Jaipur city, to whom the case was transferred on 17-10-73.
(2.) The Sessions Judge overruled the objection taken by the accused and therefore he filed a revision to the Rajasthan High Court against the order. The High Court after considering the oral and documentary evidence came to the conclusion that the Act was not applicable to the appellant for two reasons - (1) that it was not brought into force in Tonk at the time of the offence, and (2) that it was not proved by the accused that he was below the age of 16 on 12-3-1073. the date of the occurrence. The accused was charged for offences punishable under Ss. 364 and 302 of the Penal Code. Aggrieved by the order of the High Court, the appellant moved this Court in special leave and at the time of granting special leave, this Court directed the High Court to return a finding of fact on the actual date of birth of the accused so that this Court may determine the applicability of the Act to the facts of the present case.
(3.) The High Court after reappraising the entire evidence-oral and documentary by its order dated 18-11-76 came to a clear finding that the age of Umesh Chandra at the time when the offence was committed was 16 years 5 months and 20 days and that the exact date of birth of the appellant was proved to be 22-9-1956. After the finding of fact called for from the High Court was sent to this Court, the appeal was placed for hearing before us.;

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