New Delhi: A 26-year-old youth has been sentenced to two and half years in jail for tricking a court here into granting him anticipatory bail in a dowry death case by falsely claiming that he was a minor.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Manish Gupta sentenced Shobh Raj alias Amardeep, while holding him guilty of securing anticipatory bail from another court on the basis of a forged birth certificate showing him to be a minor.

"I find force in the arguments of additional public prosecutor for state that the misrepresentation exercised on behalf of the accused has resulted in influencing the judicial mind of Honourable Court while considering the bail plea of the accused and consequently he was directed to avail the liberty of bail," the ACMM said.

North West Delhi resident Amardeep was an accused in a case of dowry death along with other members of his family for killing his sister-in-law by administering her poison in 2005.

He had secured anticipatory bail from the court of Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Siddhartha on the sole ground that he was a minor with his birth certificate showing his date of birth as February 9, 1988 instead of 1986, the actual year of birth.

A later verification of the certificate on the request of the father of his deceased sister-in-law showed it to be forged and his bail was cancelled in September 2007 by V P Vaish, the then Additional Sessions Judge.

ACMM Gupta noted that while pressing for anticipatory bail, Amardeep had specifically pleaded his case for bail claiming that he was a juvenile and this "satisfies the element of deception and intentional inducement."

He also noted that ASJ Vaish while cancelling the bail noted that Amardeep was not given bail on merits, which shows that he obtained relief by misrepresenting the fact that he was minor and had produced the copy of the birth certificate which was not found to be genuine.

The court convicted him under various provisions of Indian Penal Code relating to cheating and forgery and also slapped a fine of Rs 8,000 on him.

It, however, suspended his sentence till December 24 after he submitted that he wished to move an appeal against his conviction.