Continuation of inquiry in respect of juvenile who has ceased to be a juvenile (Section 3)

‘Inquiry’ in Section 3 of the Act should mean an inquiry under the Act and not under the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under Section 3 of the Act, where an enquiry has been initiated against a juvenile and during the course of such inquiry the juvenile ceases to be such, then, notwithstanding anything contained and orders made in respect of such person as if such person has continued to be juvenile. Thus, it is obvious that the reckoning of the age of the accused must be in relation to the date of commission of the crime and not the date on which disposal of the case against the juvenile. The crucial date for determining the question whether a person is juvenile is the date when he is brought before the competent authority.

The provisions of Section 3 of the Act apply to enquiry only and have no application to trials and appeals. The High Court of Allahabad held that when according to High School Certificate an accused was a juvenile on the date of occurrence, he cannot be tried by regular Court with adult accused even if he is not a juvenile at the time of trial.

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