Mumbai: Special Court Orders Inquiry Amid Claims Of Minors By Some Defendants After Indian Agencies Arrest 35 Pirates

Mumbai: Special Court Orders Inquiry Amid Claims Of Minors By Some Defendants After Indian Agencies Arrest 35 Pirates

Amidst this, the special court on Tuesday ordered inquiry into the matter as the Somalian embassy too certified that they are minors and shall be tried not by the regular court.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Tuesday, April 02, 2024, 09:46 PM IST
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Mumbai: Special Court Orders Inquiry Amid Claims Of Minors By Some Defendants After Indian Agencies Arrest 35 Pirates |

Mumbai: The seven of the 35 pirates arrested by Indian agencies have claimed that they are minor while the tests conducted at the JJ hospital opined that all of them are 20 years and above. Amidst this, the special court on Tuesday ordered inquiry into the matter as the Somalian embassy too certified that they are minors and shall be tried not by the regular court.

On Tuesday the yellow gate police produced al the 35 accused before the court out of which eight were lodged at the juvenile home as they claimed to be minors at the time of the arrest.

Before the hearing, the defence lawyers submitted documents such as school leaving certificate, birth certificate and other such documents in support of their claim for seven of the 35 accused. However, the defence could not procure any proof for one accused. Hence he was sent to Taloja prison considering as major based on the opinion of the JJ hospital after ossification test.

The public prosecutor, Iqbal Solkar, on the other hand produced the copy of the ossification test which stated that the eight of the 35 accused who claimed to be minor are above the age of 20.

The prosecution claimed that the authenticity of the documents needs to be proved as these documents were not issued by the embassy but produced only with the stamp of the embassy. The court also noted that all these accused didn't look minor from their appearance.

To this the defence claimed that the aging of the person needs to seen from the perspective of the climate of the place, geographical, socio economical condition of the place. They may not look minor but certificates shows their age, defence claimed. In this circumstances, the court has now asked Juvenile Justice Board to conduct the inquiry on the issue.

Meanwhile, the prosecution sought custody of one of the pirates who was hospitalised after they were brought to Mumbai and handed over to Mumbai police. The police obtained his custody till April 6. All the other accused have been remanded to Judicial custody

The 35 pirates were caught after an operation lasting over 40 hours that commenced in the early hours of March 15, wherein INS Kolkata intercepted Pirate Ship ex-MV Ruen in the Arabian Sea based on inputs received by Indian Navy's Information Fusion Centre -Indian Ocean Region from UKMTO (United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations).

INS Kolkata, with the 35 apprehended pirates, returned to Mumbai on March 23. The pirates were handed over to the police for further legal action in accordance with Indian laws.

The exercise was undertaken as part of the ongoing Operation Sankalp, wherein Indian Navy ships are deployed in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden for the safety of seafarers and mercantile trade passing through the region.

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