Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015

Juvenile is defined as a person who is not old enough to be held responsible for criminal act. In most of the federal states the age threshold for juvenile is 18. When we are talking about the juvenile justice this is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough be held responsible for criminal acts. The main objective of this system is rehabilitation rather than punishment.  In our country to deal with the juvenile delinquent an Act was passed in the year of 2000 in name of Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act. This law fixes the age of juvenile in conflict of law as 18 years. But the incident of 16th December 2012(gang rape in Delhi) forced the law makers to think about the major changes in criminal law for juveniles.   So the Bill was introduced in Parliament by Maneka Gandhi, Minister Women and Child Development in August 2014, which was placed before both the houses. Government also cited the data of NATIONAL CRIME RECORD BUREAU (NCRB) to show the increased number of crimes are committed by the juvenile between 16-18 years with the proposal to change the age of juvenile in conflict with law from 18 to 16. As one of the accused of the Delhi gang rape case was few months away from being 18 and was tried in juvenile court. Later was sentenced by the juvenile court for the period of 3 years.

Finally Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015 came into force with some changes. One among them is the bill allows for juvenile 16 years or older to be tried as adults for heinous offences like rape and murder and the offences which are punishable with imprisonment of 7 years or more, bill allow the juvenile justice board to take decision regarding trial of juvenile of 16 years or older as adult. The board will be constituted with judicial magistrates and 2 social workers.

Even after the amendment voices were raised by the child right and women right activist they called this bill a regressive step and criticized the bill.  We need to change our laws according to the need of the time and the change made in Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015 is essentially required in present situation.

 

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