‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’
The issue of serious/violent juvenile crime may be a very complex one, warranting a judicious approach to be adopted to effectively address the competing interests of those juveniles, the victims (especially women and girls), which of public safety. The gang rape on 16 December 2012 has triggered a nationwide debate on a variety of issues, one among them being the quantum of punishment for juveniles involved in heinous crimes. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (JJ Act) prescribes a maximum period of three years detention during a Special Home (SH), which many believe as being disproportionate to the impact of such a criminal offense on the victim and society. Two distinct positions have emerged – one that each one juvenile within the age bracket of 16-18 years be addressed by the adult criminal justice system and second, that only those juveniles who have allegedly committed heinous crimes to be addressed during this manner, through the establishment of a waiver system. Shorn of the panic it’s triggered, the incident has raised issues that need a deeper examination of the principles and values of the juvenile justice system and an evaluation of the adequacy of responses to juveniles who commit serious/violent crime in India.
The Act was passed amidst debates and arguments from all sections of the society. The first objective of the Act is to make sure the overall care and protection of youngsters by reforming them and reintegrate them into society. Although the intent of the Act isn’t to punish a toddler but to make sure their rehabilitation, there was an enormous hue and cry post the Nirbhaya case for more stringent punishment regarding juveniles involved in serious crimes. Bowing to the pressure, the legislature amended the JJ Act to adequately address the crimes committed by juvenile offenders. it had been understood that a case concerning juvenile offenders cannot merely be selected basis on the age of the juvenile, but it should also take into consideration the criminal offense committed by the juvenile. The amendment introduced the concept of heinous crimes and therefore the procedure for trying juvenile caught doing the heinous crimes as an adult.
The failings within the JJ Act was put to the spotlight by the various cases where the juveniles sought protection under the JJ Act and were considered as having gone awry instead of an individual with criminal intent. The offenders under the JJ Act are mentioned remand homes for three years and upon their release, their criminal records are deleted, to make sure that the juvenile is often restored to the society without anyone being made conscious of the juvenile’s past delinquent records .
However, considering the grave nature of offenses committed by the juveniles and therefore the protection sought under the JJ Act, the JJ Act was considered flawed and therefore the level of punishment didn’t meet the gravity of the crimes committed by the juveniles. It had been difficult to conceive that the juvenile offender wasn’t conscious of the results of his action for offenses like murder, rape, etc. it had been felt that the JJ Act adopted a lighter touch for people below the age of 18, albeit the crime committed was punishable severely under the Indian Penal code (IPC).
Reason for juvenile crimes in India
Many factors are contributing to the criminal nature of the youth. Most of those youths come from families of discord or abuse. Peer pressure, the neighborhood also influence the event of a toddler. Poverty is additionally one of the most causes of delinquent youth. Although education plays a crucial role in molding the longer term citizens, the system somewhere lacks within the ability to hold the eye of non-bookish and non-academic individuals and thus contributes towards many cases of delinquency. Delinquents are typically those that take studies sort of a burden and on being rebuked turn towards crime. The crime committed by children under statutory age is understood as delinquency. As per the statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), juvenile criminals between 16 and 18 years accounted for quite 60% of the crimes registered against minors in India in 2013. The amount of juveniles in conflict with the law has increased by a big number in recent times. This also included the modesty of girls being outraged.
India seeks to tackle the matter of delinquency supported three fundamental principles:
- (i) Young offenders shouldn’t be tried; they ought to preferably be corrected;
- (ii) They ought to not be punished but reformed
- (iii) Exclusion of delinquents i.e. children in conflict with the law from the ambit of Court and stress on their non-penal treatment through community-based group action agencies such a Juvenile Justice Board, Observation Homes, Special Homes, etc.
Juvenile is defined under section 2(35) of juvenile justice (care and protection of children) Act 2015 means a toddler below the age of eighteen years. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 lays down that juvenile in conflict with the law or juvenile offenders could also be kept during an ‘Observation Home’ while children in need of care and protection got to be kept in a ‘Children Home’ during the pendency of proceedings before the competent authority.
A juvenile is often detained just for a maximum period of three years regardless of the gravity of the offense committed by him and he is going to be remanded to ‘Special Home’. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 provides immunity to the kid who is a smaller amount than 18 Years aged at the time of the commission of the alleged offense from trial through court or any punishment under legal code insight of Section 17 of the Act.
From time to time many trends had been remodeled the juvenile justice system in India as by different judgment by various courts and legislations and a few out of that are as follows the Supreme Court of India in Gaurav Jain v. Union of India while handling writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution concerning the plight of the prostitutes or fallen women and their progeny, spoke about the Preamble of the Constitution and stated that it’s an integral a part of the Constitution of India which the youngsters have the proper to equality and therefore the opportunity for all well beings, dignity and look after the right protection and rehabilitation by the society with open hands hospitable make them onto the actual way of social life with none mark supported them for no-fault.
In Laxmikant Pandey v. State , the Hon’ble Court of India observed that each juvenile features a right to proper care and assistance and affection and of morality and proper security and this is often only claimable only the juveniles are going to be mentioned in proper family and good environment. In Subramanian Swamy v. Raju Thr. Member, Juvenile Justice Board some incidence becomes mileage stone that shook the psyche of the society or nation. one among such is that the case of the Delhi gang rape as where the 5, 6 persons rape a woman though brutally and killing her by putting rod privately part and therefore the justice system is intrinsically the juvenile involved in it’s to be released after small imprisonment.
The onus to make sure that children don’t stray is with adults. reception and at educational institutions, they have to watch the behavior of youngsters and behave like role models for kids. Early detection and counseling for those with criminal tendencies is vital so that they are doing not find yourself as offenders, and also so that they don’t influence others to try to an equivalent. This is often possible only parents are cognizant of what’s wrong within the child’s behavior and aware of correcting him/her . By and enormous in India, there’s no rule of law, and kids are checking out that it’s easy to urge away with breaking the law.