On Thursday, Lok Sabha passed a bill which tries and punishes the juveniles who have committed heinous crimes and are in the age of 16 to 18 years. This bill was introduced in August 2014 in Lok Sabha. It was also told that they insisted that the bill contained a fine balance which ensured that no innocent child was punished. When the government deleted clause 7 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. This clause 7 stated that under the provisions of the said act, if someone who has completed 21 years of age but had committed serious crime when that person was 16 to 18 years of age then that person can be tried as an adult.
Nearly 42 amendments to the bill were made by the government, but all those amendments that were made by N K Premchandran and Shashi Tharoor were cancelled. This change was being brought up after considering the involvement of a 16 year old teenager in Nirbhaya gang rape case of 2012. But the opposition members did not agree on the proposal to increase the age bar stating that it may be misused and children’s right can be violated by this new law. Maneka Gandhi who is the Minister for Women and Child Development told that the law is made pro-child and thus child’s rights are well conserved. Maneka Gandhi denied the allegations made against her that she only liked animals and cared for them more than the children and also said that she has made sure that this law ensures that juveniles abstain from doing any crime. Ms Gandhi also stated a recent Apex Court order which asked the government to reconsider the law by looking into the increasing juvenile crimes.
Since many juveniles are committing serious crimes like rape, which can be controlled by government’s amendments in the present law. As per the government crime ratio of 2013, nearly 1,388 rape cases were registered against Juveniles who were under the age of 18 years and above 16. Most of these juveniles who committed such crimes were from the families who belonged to less income of Rs 50,000 and nearly 50% of them had not even completed their schooling.
by Sushma Javare