Objection based on govt data, number of juveniles aged16-18 yrs accused of serious crimes not high: Balakrishnan
The Bill defines ‘heinous offences’ as those “for which the minimum punishment under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment for seven years or more.”
The overwhelming sense in the Congress even Tuesday morning, hours before the Bill was passed with its support, was in favour of referral of the Bill to a committee.
The age of majority has been fixed at 21 for men and 18 for women under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, and it entails punishment for parents and guardians who conduct or facilitate child marriages.
Rajya Sabha has failed in its role as a delaying chamber for unwise legislation.
NCRB figures also show that over the last ten years, the juvenile crime rate fluctuated marginally from 1% in 2004-05 to 1.2% in 2008 and down to 1% in 2010.
Abantika Ghosh explains the inherent contradictions in the Juvenile Justice Bill that was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday — how, at 16, you are too young to drink but old enough to be tried as an adult.
When the UPA government passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, that laid down in clear terms that the age of consent for sex is 18 years, even then activists had warned against such misuse.
The victim’s parents later met Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and demanded the support of the party in the passage of the Bill.
He reiterated that the Centre had submitted in court that it was not the right time to release the juvenile.
The Bill is listed for consideration in Rajya Sabha.
Under the proposed law, any juvenile aged between 16 and 18 will stay in a borstal, till the age of 21.
Undue haste in pressing ahead with the bill in the face of dissent is intriguing.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said laws cannot be ‘based on one instance alone’.
In 2013, 933 cases of kidnapping and abduction were registered against juveniles, which was 704 in 2012.