Days before the brutal gangrape of a paramedic in Delhi, the Women and Child Development ministry had circulated draft changes in the Juvenile Justice Act seeking more mainstreaming measures for children in the 16 to 18 years group and debarring death sentence or life imprisonment on them.
One of the accused in the Delhi gangrape is a 17-year-old. This was dramatically opposed to what the WCD ministry had suggested after the gangrape.
The ministry now wants to bring amendments in the law to prosecute those in this age group guilty of committing heinous crimes - a decision termed by experts as a knee jerk reaction to the Delhi gangrape. WCD minister Krishna Tirath had said she would soon send a proposal to the law ministry for making amendment in the JJ Act, by which any juvenile caught in heinous crime - sexual assault, repeated sexual assault, rape - can be given stricter punishment.
Earlier, the ministry was of the view that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) should be strengthened to protect the children, in conflict with law, below 18 years.
The proposed changes did not distinguish between the children in different age groups, especially those between the age of 16 and 18.