Police say that the “firebrand juvenile burglar” who escaped once again from a juvenile detention home in Mukherjee Nagar in northwest Delhi is well aware of the Juvenile Justice Act and exploits it to commit crimes.
He fled with 27 other delinquents, including two who committed three crimes, including robbing an ATM, in a matter of 15 hours last month.
“He is well aware that he can neither be arrested nor can any kind of force be used against him. So, every time he is apprehended, he gangs up at the Home with other delinquents and flees the scene,” said a senior police officer.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 was revised three years ago and barred
police or any other agency from registering an FIR against a juvenile criminal.
“The security guards posted at protection homes are unarmed and are often attacked by juveniles. They can’t do anything,” said the officer. Police say taking advantage of this, they commit crimes with impunity.
Sometimes, they are even used by organised gangs to commit crimes.
“If somebody is taking advantage of this, it’s not a shortcoming of the law. There are methods to deal with it independently,” said Amod Kanth, chairperson, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).
Police fear the gang could strike in a few days again.
“The police are trying to shift blame. If they are sleeping on the job that is their problem,” said Dr Amitabha Sen, attorney-at-law.