Need to change Juvenile Act: Ujjwal Nikam | india | Hindustan Times
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Need to change Juvenile Act: Ujjwal Nikam

The trial of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist caught in the November 26 attacks, has thrown up the possibility of minors being used for terror attacks and time has come for the country to strengthen the Juvenile Justice Act to deal with such impending menace, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has said.

india Updated: May 10, 2009 11:46 IST

The trial of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist caught in the November 26 attacks, has thrown up the possibility of minors being used for terror attacks and time has come for the country to strengthen the Juvenile Justice Act to deal with such impending menace, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has said.

After Kasab unsuccessfully attempted to plead that he was a juvenile, a possibility arises that terror groups might use minors to carry out suicide attacks, he warned.

"Juvenile offenders are likely to infiltrate into the country... Time has come to change the archiac Juvenile Justice Act to ensure that terror suspect below the age of 18 should be tried under the stringent laws, Nikam said in an interactive session with PTI journalists in Mumbai.

Recently, the Act was amended to increase the age of juvenile from 16 to 18 years. Even that would not suffice for a juvenile terrorist as there was no provision under the Act to award rigorous imprisonment like death penalty, Nikam said.

A juvenile convict cannot be tried in a regular court but only before a juvenile authority which does not award punishment even if guilt is proved, said Nikam.

Nikam said similar to Kasab, who had attempted to prove himself to be a juvenile to escape punishment taking advantage of the lenient Act, "Many young people are being brainwashed and used by terror groups and our existing laws are inadequate," Nikam said.