The Mumbai Working Group on Juvenile Justice (MWGJJ) on Monday opposed the recently proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act on treating juveniles accused of heinous crimes on par with adults.
Desai, founder trustee of NGO Pratham, said, “The reduction of age from 18 to 16 years for sending a youngster to jail for a criminal act is not justified. We need to understand the psychology of the youngster, the hormonal changes and the emotional upheavals during the age of adolescence when he is neither a child nor an adult. The youngster then requires a long period of therapeutic treatment. Imprisonment would on the contrary expose him to criminals and he would grow up taking them as his role models.”
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Talking about the Nirbhaya case, Ritu Dewan, president of All India Association of Women, said that women protection was being used as a shield to amend the law.
“However, nearly 80-90 per cent crimes against women are committed by close acquaintances and not juveniles. The decision taken by the ministry is emotional, irrational and unscientific,” she said.