The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is too protective of juvenile offenders? Comment citing specific provisions.

Published: January 1, 2018

The Juvenile Justice (care and protection ) Act, 2015 forms the framework to look after the young offenders in the country. The law in general is made on the lines of changing times. The recent statistics show

  • 47% rise in the IPC cases involving juveniles from 22740 in 2010 to 33526 in 2014. 
  • A shocking increase of 143% in the rape cases.
  • 87% rise in the murders committed by minors
  • Rise in juveniles involved in kidnapping of women and minor girls tantamount to 500%.

These statistics show the weak law enforced in the country regarding juvenile offenders. The welfare justice in the country is favouring the offender’s rather than the victims and is failing to keep up with the new age of offence. 
The examples of stringent juvenile laws exist across the globe. United States of America account to imprisoning more juveniles than any country in the world. Juveniles aged 10 to 18 in United Kingdom are tried as adults. France also tries it’s 16-18 year old offenders as adults.  
Whereas, in India, according to section 15 of juvenile justice act,  one who commits a heinous crime and of age 16-18 years is not tried as an adult by default. Instead, a primary assessment is made of the juvenile’s mental and physical capacity, ability to understand the consequences of the crime and the circumstances in which the crime is committed.
Even after the board declares as an adult, according to section 19(2) of the act, it is mandatory to the child sessions court to review it all over again. Only then, according to section 20, the court can grant a bail/transfer them to the jail. A follow up of annual reports in the cases of conviction is obligatory. Section 19(3) of the same act exempts a juvenile from death sentence and life sentence. It also states that the convicted should be sent to juvenile home till the age of 21. 
These provisions needs to be amended accordingly and should be made stricter. Juvenile offenders should be considered a threat to the society and humanity with the heinous and barbaric offences they commit.

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