Juvenile Justice Act: Reduction of age from 18 to 16
Doesn’t a heinous crime like the Delhi gang rape come under the “rarest of rare” category? The crime shook the country’s integrity, brought forth a unique outburst of anger and triggered united introspection on the safety of women and girls. A police spokesman while reporting said that the accused minor was the most brutal attacker of the gang and he ripped out the girls intestines with his bare hands. Children, no doubt merely imitate what goes on around them. They definitely need to be dealt with differently than adults. The Juvenile Justice Act was passed by the Indian Government for the care and protection of children, including child offenders. Further the Juvenile Justice Act was amended in the year 2000.Before the year 2000; boys aged below 16 years were provided protection under Juvenile Justice Act. The age for boys was raised to 18 after deep deliberation. Children who are raised in a society, full of adult criminals are prone to imitate them. Hence a child cannot be completely blamed for an offence he commits. The influence of an adult or a society contributes to the commission of a crime by a minor. As the post natal factors, also contribute to the development of his or her personality. Juvenile offenders undergo severe mental trauma owing to their upbringing in crime-prone localities. Constant exposure to criminal activities turns them into criminals. Reformation and providing psychological counselling will help in their transformation. The Supreme Court has recently declined the requests to amend the age from 18 years to 16 years under the Juvenile Justice Act. This decision of the Supreme Court is unacceptable in the cases of heinous crimes. While refusing to allow the Delhi gang rape juvenile offender to be tried as an adult, the Supreme Court has pointed out; underage crime still forms only a tiny percentage of crimes. A child cannot commit a crime without the support of adults....
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