National / World

Cabinet nod for trial of juveniles as adults for rape, murder


New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI): Overruling the recommendations of a parliamentary panel, government on Wednesday went ahead with a proposal to try juveniles in the age group of 16 to 18 years accused of heinous crimes under laws for adults.

"The Cabinet has approved amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, whereby juveniles in the age group of 16-18 can be tried under Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they are accused of heinous crimes," I T and Communication Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The issue was brought before the Cabinet a fortnight ago but was dropped from the agenda at the last moment and it was decided that an informal group of ministers will examine the issue.

Rejecting the recommendations of a Parliamentary Standing Committee, the Women and Child Development Ministry had decided to go ahead with the proposal. The Supreme Court had also recently observed that there was a need to relook at the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act in cases where the accused have committed crimes like rape, murder dacoity and acid attacks.

Several ministers in the Cabinet meeting supported the proposal saying a person accused of crimes like rape should be treated as an adult, a senior minister said after the meeting.

"The new proposed Act (the amendment bill) provides that in case a heinous crime has been committed by a person in the age group of 16-18 years it will be examined by the Juvenile Justice Board to assess if the crime was committed as a 'child' or as an 'adult'.

"Since this assessment will be made by the Board which will have psychologists and social experts, it will ensure that the rights of the juvenile are duly protected if he has committed the crime as a child. The trial of the case will accordingly take place as a juvenile or as an adult on the basis of this assessment," an official statement said.

The amended bill also proposes to streamline adoption procedures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children. It establishes a statutory status for the Child Adoption Resources Authority (CARA).

The legislation proposes several rehabilitation and social integration measures for institutional and non-institutional children. It also provides for sponsorship and foster care as completely new measures.

Mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care is also in the offing.

New offences, including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of children by militant groups and offences against disabled children have also been incorporated in the proposed legislation.

The major amendments include removal of Clause 7 that relates to trial of a person above the age of 21 years as an adult for committing any serious or heinous offence when the person was between the ages of 16-18 years; enhancing the period of preliminary inquiry by the Juvenile Justice Board in case of heinous offences committed by children in the age group of 16-18 years; increasing the reconsideration period for surrender of children by parents or guardians; enhancing the period for inter-country adoption in case the child is not given for domestic adoption; assigning the role of designated authority to monitor the implementation of the Bill to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and making the central and state governments responsible for spreading awareness on the provisions of the bill.

The amended bill will be brought before parliament again in the ongoing budget session, official sources said.

Comment on this article

  • INDIAN, INDIA

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    WHAT ABOUT IN THE CASES WHERE BOYS GET ABUSED OR RAPED BY WOMEN ACCROSS COUNTRY...???!!! IS THE LAW HAS SAME STAND TO PUNISH WOMEN OR GIRL...???!!! OR IS THE LAW EVEN THIS TIME SAME AS THE AGE OLD CLAUSES WHICH ARE GENDER BIASED AND ANTI-MEN IN INDIA AND LIKELY TO GET MISUSED BY WOMEN AND DIRTY AND CORRUPT POLITICIANS OF INDIA FOR THEIR VOTE BANK....?????

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal D Souza, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Very good decision though it was expected much earlier. Reduce the age till 12 for the heinous crimes & implement it with immediate effect. I want all those convicted in Rapes & murders to be hanged with immediate effect.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramakrishna A K , Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Now Mulayam Singh Yadav will tell that - Boys are Boys, why punish them for simple Rape or simple Murder !

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    POTA should also be revoked now.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Syed, Udupi

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    From 12 years and death for the rapists and murder convicts.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    I want some enlightenment form the learned. Can the amended clause of the law be applicable to cases happened before this amendment ?

    I just have Nirbhaya in my mind while asking this !

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Saleem Baji, Kaikamba

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Very good decision and well appreciated. When a minor can commit such a heinous crime, then why not try this criminal under the same law of adults and if found guilty impose the worst possible punishment by which these criminals should understand what the real pain is! I also suggest, we should have fast track courts for such crimes. The verdict should be out maximum within a month’s time with no provision for any more appeal in higher courts.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • j.anata, Mangaluru / Bengaluru

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    At last a decision on juveniles age issue!

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachidanand Shetty, Mundkur/Dubai

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    This is a very good move. Punishment should be based on the quantum of the crime should not be based on the age of criminals

    DisAgree [1] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Margaret, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    A step in the right direction, is all I can say. Its a pity though that this was not thought of earlier. Implement it and quick.

    I was specially happy noting that consideration will be given to foster care of abandoned children . I wish a strict punishment is also considered for those who entice children into acts of terrorism. Innocent lives are being lost everyday.

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Braganza, Mumbai

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Well its a good move in right direction. It should be further down to Age 12 as criminal responsibility. Time have changed and Juvenile crime spiked exponentially. Also this new clause should be gender neutral , as if even a 16 year old girl abuses someone should be punished as a adult.

    Also there is increasing trend of women who abuse children at schools and orphanages , so this new clause should not be a hogwash as age old clauses which r gender biased and Anti men , and likely misused by women across country.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    16 - 18 are more heinous than Adults ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    You grow old and feeble with age!

    DisAgree [6] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul Rafiq, Uchila / Dubai

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    GOOD MOVE BUT MAKE IT 15 TO 18 YEARS OF AGE INSTEAD OF 16.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

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