Cabinet nod for amendment to Juvenile justice Act

Cabinet clears proposal to try minors above 16 years of age under IPC, discretion to lie with juvenile board in heinous crime cases

GN Bureau | August 7, 2014


Protests after Delhi gang rape in December 2012
Protests after Delhi gang rape in December 2012

Notwithstanding opposition from child rights activists, the union cabinet on Wednesday approved an amendment bill that proposes Juvenile Justice Board can decide if a minor above 16 years of age should be tried in a regular court or sent to correction homes.

Such discretion, the proposal states, is allowed to the board in cases involving heinous crimes such as rape and murder. (Also read: Juvenile laws in India: need for uniformity)

Changes in the juvenile justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2000, were discussed by the cabinet after all the central ministries gave their nod for the amendment, media reports suggest.

The amendments, however, do not allow life imprisonment or capital punishment for the minor accused, irrespective of his trial under the juvenile Act or under the Indian penal code (IPC).

So far, irrespective of the gravity of the crime, accused up to the age of 18 are sent to correction homes and the maximum punishment provided for in the Act is three years confinement.

Proposals to bring changes in the Act comes in the wake of the unprecedented public outrage arising out of the conviction of one of the accused in the December, 2012 gang-rape of a young physiotherapist in a moving bus in Delhi.

Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi herself had been advocating the move lately suggesting it would act as a deterrent for child offenders.

Child rights activists on the other hand have been pointing that such changes would prove counter-productive instead of acting as deterrents.

In a statement to Governance Now, a spokesperson of ‘Save the Children’ that works for child protection and child education in India said, “Let us all focus on operationalizing juvenile systems, in accordance with the spirit of rehabilitating child offenders. We have to work with children to ensure that they become more responsible instead of only punishing them.

Nishit Kumar, head, communication and strategic initiatives, Childline India Foundation, Mumbai, said: “The decision of the exact term for such reformation process must be left to the JJB and should be based on detailed psychological examination and observation of the Juvenile.”

In a representation to late supreme court justice (retired) J S Verma who was heading a panel to amend anti-rape laws in the wake of the December, 2012 Delhi incident, a group of activists had highlighted that the minor accused in the case had a troubled childhood himself, after being separated from his family at the age of five. Instead, they pointed that the state should lay emphasis on protecting the childhood of such juveniles who end up being offenders.

Meanwhile, the amendment approved by the cabinet also has provisions for faster child adoption procedures and setting up foster care homes.

The government plans to introduce the bill in the current session of the parliament.

Comments

 

Other News

Goa Shipyard and MTU, Germany to manufacture MTU engines in India

Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and MTU, Germany have agreed to cooperate in the  local manufacturing of technologically-advanced MTU series 8000 engines in India. Under the agreement, which was signed at India’s leading defence trade show Defexpo-18, the companies will manufacture the 16-

ONGC employees bag 13 medals at the Gold Coast CWG

ONGC sportspersons outshone other participants in their respective categories in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. ONGCians bagged 13 medals including 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 5 Bronze, contributing to the 66 medal tally of Team India. ONGCians Ragala Venkat Rah

BHEL bags renovation and modernisation order

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged an order for the renovation and modernisation (R&M) of electrostatic precipitators (ESP) at Ramagundam super thermal power station. The Rs 137 crore-turnkey-order envisages carrying out R&M of ESPs of three units of 200 MW each at Ra

Congress’s real agenda is Save Dynasty: Amit Shah

As the Congress leads a bunch of opposition parties in preparing to move an impeachment motion against the chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, BJP president has said its real agenda is not to save the constitution but to save the “dynasty”. Shah has turned to Facebook, posting a

On World Book Day, how about a dip into India’s REAL best-sellers?

There are a few fortunate people for whom every day is a World Book Day, but for the rest it comes once in a year. There are all sorts of international days of this and that, but thanks to social media people are acquiring the habit of wishing and celebrating this or that day these days. Those who’d

First phase of PMUG project likely to be completed before deadline

GAIL (India) Limited has placed pipe laying orders of Rs 780 crore for around 530 km of pipeline connectivity from Bokaro to Angul for Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project. With this, major contracts of the project, i.e. pipe supply and laying contract orders for 2200

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter