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Komal Panwar

Blogger & Singer

The Juvenile Justice Bill Is Passed, But Do You Pass It?

  • JWB Post
  •  December 24, 2015

 

The Juvenile Justice Bill has been passed, and I can hear fireworks being shot in the sky. Oh no, that’s probably for Christmas, New Year or the wedding season. Um, okay, hold that thought, I have a question for each one of you. Is the bill going to change anything?

I mean, there was a bill presented about death penalty of rapists. What happened? Did it control sexual violence in any way?

I’m probably getting ahead of myself, and you’re drawing a blank. So here’s what happened.

A couple of days after Nirbhaya’s offender was released; the Juvenile Justice Bill got passed. The bill says that Juveniles aged 16 years, and above will now be tried under laws for adults for committing heinous crimes. Of course, the reference to passing the bill goes back to December 2012, when Nirbhaya was brutally gang-raped, and the youngest offender was released.

While some feel that it is incorrect to let emotions take control and decide on what bills to be passed, others stand solidly in its support.

NCP’s Vandana Chavan said India is going the American way which is already perceived as a failed system. “We have to realise that a legal system cannot and do not stand on emotion. It has to stand on reason. While enacting laws in our country, we have always upheld prudence and scientific temper. There has been an argument that if you are old enough to rape, you are old enough to be hanged, and I feel this is absolutely wrong… scientific studies on the adolescent brain and psychology totally contradict the presumption that juvenile engaged in crimes such as rape and murder are more mature and, therefore, should be treated as adults,” Chavan said.

“In England and Wales, for several offences, children above the age of 10 are held to be criminally liable. In Australia, the prescribed age is 14-18 years for children to be responsible for their actions under the criminal law. In the United States, many states have the age of 12 years for holding children responsible for criminal acts. In New York and Texas, the age is 17 years. In Bangladesh, it is 16 years and in Denmark, it is 15 years. And psychologists now feel that the children are grown-ups by the age of 14, responsible for their actions,” Tulsi said.

Now, of course, the criminals won’t be immediately hanged unto death. There will be a preliminary investigation, as a result of which, the decision will be made.

As usual, the debate stands open, but the bill has been passed, and I believe that the bill so passed shall prove effective. Since there was no bill against the juvenile, even the worst crime committers were omitted, and I trust that the legislature of our country is wise enough to handle all “variances”.

What’s your opinion?

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