Centre ready for debate on change in juvenile age,punishment: Minister

R P N Singh Sunday said the UPA government was ready for debate and discussions over re-defining the yardsticks defining the age of juveniles.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: September 2, 2013 3:02:37 am

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs R P N Singh Sunday said the UPA government was ready for debate and discussions over re-defining the yardsticks defining the age of juveniles held in conflict with law and the punishment meted out to them,a day after the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) convicted the juvenile accused in the Delhi gangrape case to a maximum of three years in a reformatory home.

“I understand the anguish and anger of the parents (of the victim),but the government cannot act in anger. It has to follow the rule of law. The accused juvenile in this case has been given harshest punishment under the existing law,” Singh told reporters in Lucknow.

In city to hold meeting with the party workers after being made the minister in-charge of 12 districts,including Lucknow,by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi,Singh said,“Yardsticks for defining punishment for juveniles in criminal cases and re-defining the age of juveniles require serious look and discussions. We are ready for that.”

He said while law and order is a state subject,the central government was serious about increasing the women’s participation in police force. “In the recent past,we have sent advisories to all the states asking them to ensure 33 per cent women participation in the police force and also to ensure a woman help desk in every police station. The national average of women in police force is merely 5.6 per cent and our target is to increase it to at least 20 per cent in next two years,” he added.

Terming the arrest of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal as significant achievement of intelligence agencies,he said,“The arrest would help in closure of many terror cases right from the blasts in Mumbai,Delhi,Hyderabad,Jaipur as well as Uttar Pradesh,where Bhatkal was named.”

On the the arrest of controversial spiritual leader Asaram Bapu,the minister said,“Law is equal for everyone”.

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