Most wanted faked age papers to send case to juvenile board: cops

The Delhi Police has moved the Delhi High Court challenging a lower court order that sent the case of one of their most wanted men to a juvenile justice board after he produced documents which showed him to be a juvenile.

The police claim that Neeraj Bawana, who was wanted for crimes ranging from extortion to murder, faked age documents to get away lightly in two murder cases of 2008.

Bawana was arrested last June after a year-long chase by the police of Delhi and Haryana for allegedly trying to extort money from Narela Congress MLA Jaswant Rana. Police claimed he threatened to kill Rana if he did not pay him Rs 50 lakh.

Police invoked the MCOCA against Bawana and looked at his earlier records. "It was then that we realised that he had used forged documents in two murder cases of 2008 to show he was a juvenile and did not get severe punishment," Joint Commissioner (Northern Range) Tejinder Luthra told The Indian Express.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer Delhi) B S Jaiswal said that Bawana was arrested for the murder of a man in Sultanpuri area of Delhi in 2008.

"A case was registered at the Sultanpuri police station and Bawana was charged under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder). Later, he was sent to judicial custody," he said.

At one point, Bawana submitted an application with documents to claim he was a juvenile. But when the court called for verification, he withdrew his petition.

After he came out on bail, Bawana was again arrested for murder this time in Haryana.

"A case was registered against him in Rohtak. This time, Bawana submitted a forged affidavit recording his age at an open school that proved he was a minor. The trial was subsequently shifted from the sessions court to the Haryana juvenile justice board," DCP Jaiswal said.

"Later, the order from the sessions court in Rohtak was used in the Sultanpuri murder case. As per law, documents proving juvenile status of a person in any Indian court is automatically admissible in other courts of the country. Bawana used this to his advantage. His juvenile status at the time of crime was accepted by the Rohini court in Delhi," Jaiswal said, adding that the case was transferred to a juvenile justice board.

The Delhi Police claims to have dug up his records from the first school he attended. "Investigations established that he had attended the Maharishi Dayanand School in Bawana. An age-certificate obtained from the school showed his date of birth as 05/08/1988. In the documents he submitted, he had mentioned his date of birth as 02/02/1992," Jaiswal said.

Who is Neeraj Bawana

* He was in police list of 10 most wanted men

* He carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head

* Was wanted in 9 cases in Delhi, 3 in Haryana

* Allegedly extorted money from businessmen, realtors

* Threatened to kill Delhi Congress MLA if he didn't pay Rs 50 lakh

* Police of Delhi and Haryana chased him for a year

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