Decided on June 26,2012



- (1.) THE present appeal, which has three appellants Balwant Singh, Birendra Singh and Smt. Saruli Devi, is preferred against the conviction and sentence passed against them in Sessions Trial No.4 of 1997, State Vs. Balwant Singh and others, whereby all of them have been convicted under Section 302 r/w Section 34 IPC and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life along with fine of Rs.1,000/- each and in default of the payment of fine, to undergo three months' additional rigorous imprisonment.
(2.) OUT of these three appellants before this Court, the claim of juvenility was raised by appellant no.2 Birendra Singh on 14.5.2012. In view of the provisions contained under Section 7(A) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (hereinafter to be referred as 'the Act'), this Court permitted the said appellant to produce evidence in support of his claim and the matter was adjourned. On 19.5.2012, an application was filed along with an affidavit, stating that as per the 'family register' of the village, being kept by Gram Vikas Panchayat Adhikari, Dhoktigaon, Tehsil Kapkot, District Bageshwar, the actual date of birth of accused Birendra Singh is 07.09.1979 and thus, he claimed the benefit of juvenility. In order to confirm the veracity of the document filed before this Court, on 21.5.2012, we summoned the concerned 'Gram Vikas Panchayat Adhikari' who had his jurisdiction on the said village 'Dhoktigaon' district Bageshwar. In compliance, Mr. Suresh Chandra Kandpal, Gram Vikas Panchayat Adhikari of the said village was present before this Court along with the register on 18.6.2012. All the same, the said 'family register' appeared to be fresh, which created some doubt in the mind of the Court. The new register was kept in the safe custody of the Court in a sealed cover and the concerned officer was directed by this Court to produce the old 'family register' from which the records were copied in the new register. On 25.6.2012, the concerned officer Sri Kandpal was present in the Court along with the old family register. It is pertinent to mention here that a 'family register' is a record of a family in a village Panchayat area where the records of death and birth, apart from other details are kept. When the old as well as the new registers were compared, it was found that in the new 'family register', the name of head of family is Paanuli Devi, who has been shown as wife of one Ummed Singh, whereas Birendra Singh (appellant no.2) has been shown as son of Paanuli Devi; likewise, Hira Devi has been shown as wife of Birendra Singh, while Km. Deepa, Km. Gayatri, Himanshu and Krishna have been shown as children of accused Birendra Singh. In all, there are seven members in the family. Now, in the old family register, 'Paanuli Devi', widow of Ummed Singh, is shown as head of family, whereas Birendra Singh and Smt. Heera Devi have been shown as her son and daughter-in-law. The fact with which we are concerned is that in the old as well as in the new registers, the date of birth of accused Birendra Singh is shown as 07.09.1974. Registry is directed to make photocopies of relevant entries of both the registers and mark them as Ex.'A' and 'B' respectively. These entries shall be kept with the records of the present appeal. After making photostat of the relevant document, the same shall be handed over to the concerned officer who shall keep the same in his safe custody.
(3.) IT is relevant to mention here that as per Annexure No.SA1 to the affidavit filed by appellant no.2, his date of birth is 07.09.1979. Registry is further directed to mark the application along with the annexure, i.e. the copy of family register, as Ex.'C'.;

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