In a first, three minors accused of murder of their classmate would be examined to decide if they should be tried as adults or juveniles under the revamped Juvenile Justice Act.
The new provisions of the law provide a mechanism to treat juveniles — in the 16-18 years age group — on par with adult criminals for crimes with punishment of more than seven years, such as murder and rape.
Under this provision, the Juvenile Justice Board will have to conduct a “preliminary assessment” of the mental and physical capacity of the accused to commit the crime and understand its consequences.
Following the examination, the juveniles may be tried as adults.
The amended law came into effect from January 15, the day 16-year-old Nasir was allegedly killed by the three minors and his body dumped in a forest in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh.
The accused were arrested on Tuesday and produced before a local court. The board will pronounce its decision in accordance with the amendments after about a fortnight.
On the night of January 15, the three minors — two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old — allegedly killed their classmate Nasir.
Child activists and others are keeping a close eye on the progress of the case due to its future bearing on serious cases against minors.