Juvenile Justice Act, 2015: Lacunas in the Legislation
By Team Legistify / 2016-05-04
The problem of juvenile delinquency is not new. It occurs in all societies simple as well as complex, that is, wherever and whenever a relationship is affected by a group of individuals leading to maladjustments and conflict. In a developing country like India, the problem of juvenile neglect and delinquency is considerably low but gradually increasing according to the National crime record bureau report 2007.

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More than a century ago, Abraham Lincoln said: “A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you are gone, attend to those things you think are important. You may adopt all the policies you please, but how they are carried out depends on him. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. The fate of humanity is in his hands”

The problem of juvenile delinquency is not new. It occurs in all societies simple as well as complex, that is, wherever and whenever a relationship is affected by a group of individuals leading to maladjustments and conflict. In a developing country like India the problem of juvenile neglect and delinquency is considerably low but gradually increasing according to the National crime record bureau report 2007. What is worrying more is that the share of crimes committed by juveniles to total crimes reported in the country has also increased in last three years.

Overview of the Act

The Juvenile Justice Act, which allows children aged 16 to 18 years and is in conflict with law to be tried as adults that include a prison sentence of seven years or more in cases of heinous offences, like rape, murder, abduction etc comes into force The Act, passed by the Rajya Sabha in the winter session of Parliament, received President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent on December 31 and is enforceable from January 15, 2016.

India being one of the signatories to The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) does not conform with the rules laid there under which states that signatory countries should treat every child under the age of 18 years in the same manner and not try them as adults. Is it justified? In my opinion, it is a ‘Yes’ because the rate of Juvenile Crime has been increasing with time manifold. As per the records; Juvenile in the age group of 16 – 18 years accounted for about 75 percent of the total number of crimes against minors in the year 2014 and when it is a matter of heinous offences, Juveniles should be treated at par with the adults to bring about a depletion in the crime rate amongst children. One of the major amendments made was the removal of Clause 7 which stipulated that a person who commits a lesser i.e. a serious crime between the ages of 16-18 years should be tried as an adult only if he is apprehended after the age of 21 years.

The problem of juvenile delinquency is not new. It occurs in all societies simple as well as complex, that is, wherever and whenever a relationship is affected by a group of individuals leading to maladjustments and conflict. In a developing country like India, the problem of juvenile neglect and delinquency is considerably low but gradually increasing according to the National crime record bureau report 2007.

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