New Delhi, May 13: In an important ruling that is most likely to send a wave of relief through India, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that any juvenile accused of committing a ‘heinous crime’ will be tried as an adult, if the he/she is unable to present sufficient proof of his/her underage status, before the court. In other words, if the accused is unable to prove that he/she was below 18 years of age, when the crime was committed, he/she will recieve punishment according to laws for adults.Also Read - NEET-PG Counselling 2021: Doctors Express Concern Over Postponement, Call For Nationwide Strike From Tomorrow

 A bench of Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal announced the ruling, even as they sent one Parag Bhati, accused of murdering a man in 2011 in Greater Noida, to be tried as an adult. According to a report in the Times of India, Bhati had tried to get away with minimal punishment by misusing juvenile laws and had presented forged school documents in order to prove that he had been below 18 years of age, when committed the crime. Justice Agarwal, writing the judgement for the Bench, stressed that only an unambiguous age proof of one’s underage status will be considered by the court. ALSO READ: Juvenile Justice Bill finally passed in Rajya Sabha: All you need to know about the amended law Also Read - Will NEET Exams 2022 be Conducted Twice a Year Like CBSE? Ministry of Health to Resume Talks With Education Ministry Soon

“When the accused commits a grave and heinous offence and thereafter attempts to take statutory shelter under the guise of being a minor, a casual or cavalier approach while recording as to whether an accused is a juvenile or not cannot be permitted as the courts are enjoined upon to perform their duties with the object of protecting the confidence of the common man in the institution entrusted with the administration of justice,” Agarwal was quoted as saying by TOI. In the event that the accused does manage to prove that he/she was a juvenile, he/she will be entitled to special protection under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. Also Read - Delhi-NCR Air Pollution: Supreme Court Re-Imposes Construction Ban, Delhi Govt to Pay Rs 5000 to Affected Workers