Critical Analysis of Juvenile Justice Act
- Age of Innocence – Recently JJB convicted a juvenile (approx 17.5 yrs when committed crime) in a famous Delhi Gang rape (Nirbhaya) case of 16 Dec, 2012 and order a sentence of 3yrs maximum provided under law but criticized by public due to a heinous crime (rape with death of victim) convicted for only 3 years.
- The UN convention or Beijing Rules 1985 states that age of juvenile to apply rules can be b/w 7-18 years. So there is no binding convention that age of juvenile shall be 18 yrs only.
- The countries like USA, UK has already taken steps to amend their laws. In USA or UK, if any juvenile committed heinous crime (rape, murder etc.) or a juvenile is indulged with adult in any heinous crime than trial will be held in Adult court rather than in Juvenile court like India.
- Rehabilitation of Juvenile – concept of rehabilitation is also under major threat as numbers of special homes are far less than total number of convict juveniles and conditions at established homes are really severe as per standards or requirements of rehabilitation.
- There are no special provisions for separate special homes for boys and girls, totally depend on discretion of state.
- The minor in special if attained age of 18 yrs then can’t be placed in special home any more, also can’t be placed with adult prisoners. The state shall arrange special facility to place accused but no special provision, this can lead to harassment of juvenile and purpose of this act shall be in jeopardy.
- As there is no binding international convention, govt of India shall make endeavour to change age of Innocence from 18 to 16 years (at least for heinous crimes) because maximum alleged or convicted juveniles are from age of 16 to 18 years only.
- The govt shall make special provision for separate special home for boys and girls.
There shall be a provision of ‘Adult Correction Home’, which are not jails for juveniles who have turned up 18 during the term of punishment.