SC seeks Central govt response on Juvenile Act pleahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/sc-seeks-central-govt-response-on-juvenile-act-plea/

SC seeks Central govt response on Juvenile Act plea

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre on a petition by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy.

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre on a petition by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy. The petition demands a judicial interpretation of the Juvenile Justice Act,saying the objective of the Act could not have been to protect people like the juvenile accused in the Delhi gangrape case.

The notice,along with which Swamy’s petition and PILs raising similar issues were tagged,was issued by a Bench led by Justice K S Radhakrishnan.

Swamy’s petition said provide immunity to all juvenile accused only on the basis of age was a “bland” classification,which was arbitrary,unreasonable and devoid of just and fair treatment to the rights of the victim.

Such a “blanket protection” solely on the basis of age,Swamy contended,abridged the right to life,right to free and fair trial and the rights of a victim,which formed part of Article 21 .

“It is submitted that the Act was never intended to cover hardened criminals,who have nothing redeemable about their behaviour and whose crime,like the instant crime (Delhi gangrape) alleged to have been committed,partakes of such an experienced diabolical nature that it is not that of a child,nor can any person who has committed it,ever be accepted as a child,” the petition stated.

Swamy had earlier moved the the Juvenile Justice Board and the Delhi High Court,demanding that the juvenile accused in the Delhi gangrape case be tried on par with the five adult accused. When the attempts failed,he moved the Supreme Court.

“It is submitted that offenders like… can never be termed ‘juvenile delinquents’…,” the petition stated.

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Swamy has requested the Supreme Court to read down the provisions of the Act so as to permit authorities to determine the culpability of a juvenile accused on several factors and not just age.