This is a guest post by KISHORE
In a significant move, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has decided to repeal and re-enact Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000. Along with its claims to streamline adoption and foster care procedures, it also proposes that juveniles above 16 years of age involved in heinous crimes should be tried as adults under the Indian Penal Code.
This is not first time that such an amendment has been advocated. One senior leader of ruling party had already gone to the Supreme Court last year with a petition for lowering the age under the law. However his petition was refused and the Supreme Court opined that there was no need for amendment as the present law (JJ act 2000) holds constitutional validity. Now this leader’s party is in power and they do not need to go to the judiciary for changes as they themselves can do it in Parliament. It is also believed that the government is not even waiting for the report of the expert committee appointed by the Law Commission of India to examine the issue. The proposal however, has always been contested by the premier child rights body NCPCR, which said there cannot be any “compromise” on the age of a child as defined by the UN and in other international conventions. We wonder if the governments’ desperation to change the law is based on popular “sentiments” and not on “facts”. Continue reading Need to re-enact Juvenile Justice Act – Myths and Realities: Kishore