Government’s plan to try juveniles as adults for committing heinous crimes such as rape and murder has seen thumbs down from a Parliamentary Committee. The idea, strongly proposed by women and child development ministry did not find favour with the Parliamentary Committee.
Minister for women and child development, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi had earlier said, "According to police data, 50% of all sexual crimes were committed by 16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act so they can do it." Accordingly, the Ministry had proposed that amendments be made to the law and juveniles who are between 16-18 years and are accused of committing heinous crimes be tried as adults. However, the ministry’s proposal did say that if convicted, they would not be awarded death penalty of life imprisonment.
The government’s move had received strong objections from National Commission for Protection of Child Rights as well as various child rights activists. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had reportedly said that such a move will be against international conventions and as well as the UN Convention, to which India is a party.
The women and child development ministry had also proposed that repeat offenders of crimes like kidnapping, trafficking, attempt to murder or outraging the modesty of women could be awarded a longer prison term than the three years provided in the Juvenile Justice Act.
However, the Parliamentary Panel has rejected the government’s proposal.
You may read more of our coverage on laws relating to juveniles here.