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Marriage Certificate Comes Back to Haunt Kolkata Man in Wife's Murder Case

Malik was held to be a juvenile as on the date of the incident, September 10, 2014, by the Calcutta High Court last year. The a Supreme Court bench, in a recent order, underlined that the marriage document certifies Malik to be 21 years of age on the date of marriage.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:June 1, 2018, 9:31 AM IST
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Marriage Certificate Comes Back to Haunt Kolkata Man in Wife's Murder Case
Supreme Court of India. (Network18 Creatives)
New Delhi: The marriage certificate has come back to haunt a man who was let off the hook in a case of murder over dowry.

Declared a juvenile on the date of the crime in question, Abser Malik was given the benefit of not facing the trial before a regular court. He was sent to a child court, protecting him from the rigors of the trial process or the punishment entailed by the crime.

But the Supreme Court has sent Malik back to the regular court, to be tried as an adult and the main accused under charges of his wife's murder, dowry death, cruelty and criminal conspiracy.

Malik was held to be a juvenile as on the date of the incident, September 10, 2014, by the Calcutta High Court last year. The High Court had got an ossification test done in 2016, which showed him to be around 20 years in age.

Relying on this, the High Court granted him the benefit of Juvenile Justice Act, and said Malik cannot be tried as an adult. But a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi has now set aside this verdict, and the marriage certificate turned out to be the key.

The bench, in a recent order, underlined that the marriage document certifies Malik to be 21 years of age on the date of marriage, that is on January 25, 2010.

"If the said certificate is taken into account, there will be no justification to invoke Rule 12(3)(b) of the Juvenile Justice Rules to hold that the accused was a juvenile on the date of the occurrence," maintained the bench.

It directed that the man shall now be tried along with other accused in the case before a sessions court.

The apex court also declined to take into account a school certificate, sought to be pressed by Malik's lawyer as another proof of his juvenility. It said that the school certificate was not produced before the trial court and hence, it cannot now become a part of the record before the Supreme Court.

The bench, with this order, disposed of the appeal filed by the victim's mother.

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