An accused juvenile is currently tried by the board and, if convicted, faces a maximum of three years in a juvenile home. An adult faces up to 10 years in prison for rape and up to life in prison for gang rape.
Sources said law minister Ravishankar Prasad has assured WCD minister Maneka Gandhi of immediate clearance of the draft bill. Once cleared, it would be moved for cabinet approval, but is unlikely to be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session.
The juvenile law came under scrutiny after the 2012 December 16 gang rape case. One of the offenders was underage and serving a three-year sentence in a juvenile home.