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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Juvenile justice bill introduced in Lok Sabha

Agencies  New Delhi, August 12, 2014
First Published: 13:34 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:49 IST(12/8/2014)

The government on Tuesday introduced the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014, which proposes treating minors older than 16 years as adults if charged with serious crimes such as rape.

The bill was tabled by Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi.

They, however, would not be sentenced to life or death if found guilty.

Currently, if an accused person is found to be under 18 years, he is tried by the JJ Board and, if convicted, is sent to a juvenile home for a period of three years.

An adult convicted of rape faces life term and even death sentence, in case of repeat offence.

It was approved by the cabinet last week.

Inserting a crucial condition, the draft law gives the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Board the prerogative to decide whether a case where a juvenile is involved is 'serious' enough to be tried in a regular court.

The law covering juvenile has been in focus since December 2012 after the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in the Capital.

One of the six accused in the case is a juvenile, while the other adults were given death sentences.

Just last month, Supreme Court had questioned the blanket immunity enjoyed by underage offenders and asked the government to consider reviewing the law.

The suggestion for a review came after Maneka Gandhi favoured treating underage accused of heinous crimes on par with adults.


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