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Jj system in india


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Jj system in india

  1. 1. Juvenile Justice System In India About the Author : Mayank Gupta is currently pursuing B.A.LLB from University School Of Law & Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University,Delhi. Currently in his Second Year, Mayank wishes to specialize in Business Law and realize his dreams of coming with a whole new start up of his own in the field of law. CONTACT Phone : 9711337999 E-Mail : Address : 46, Saraswati Enclave Apartments,Sector-9,Rohini,Delhi-110085 Abstract of the essay The Juvenile Justice System, Initially introduced in India to protect the exploitation of its most important resource.youth has failed to suffice the main motive it aimed at. It has been observed from times immemorial that youth, at a very small age get influenced by some negative energies which force them to take some steps which though of are criminal intent but are done without any deep knowledge.]But lately it has been observed that this system has many loopholes hidden within it. This system paves way for many criminals though legally of age of minority but mentally completely mature to escape the harsh punishments under the Indian Legal system and exploit the fundamental intent of this system. Juvenile Justice System In India Joe E. Lewis said: “You are young only once, and if you work it right, once is enough”.It is important to note that the priceless resource of any country is its human resource. There is no other resource that matches the human being, because mankind is the foundation or the corner stone of any development and civilization. Out of the human intellect a nation is built.
  2. 2. Herbert Hoover said: "Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die." It is a worldwide accepted fact and goes without any doubt that youth is the real driving force of the country. The old men though have kept the foundations of the country, It is the youth that has to build the country and fostering and nurturing this resource is very important for every country. Children’s rights require special protection and call for continuous improvement of the situation of children all over the world, as well as for their development and education in conditions of peace and security, profoundly concerned that the situation of children in many parts of the world remains critical as a result of inadequate social conditions, natural disasters, armed conflicts, exploitation, illiteracy, hunger and disability, and convinced that urgent and effective national and international action is called for. It is both, responsibility and duty of the government as well as the society to provide the youth with suitable grounds and thereby bringing about a matured and responsible population for the coming generation to lead a better life. Juvenile delinquency is one of the most serious problems of our times. It basically means anti- social behavior. The different forms of delinquent behavior include loitering, loafing, pick- pocketing, stealing, gambling, sexual offences like eve teasing, etc. The rate of delinquency is rising very fast all over the world and one of the main suspected reasons could be the negligence of parents. In order to prevent this increase in delinquency, the Juvenile Judicial System was set up in India. Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 was enacted by our parliament in order to provide care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of neglected or delinquent juveniles and for the adjudication of certain matters relating to, and disposition of, delinquent juveniles as a uniform system of juvenile justice mechanism throughout our country. Under the Act of 1986, Section 2(a) defined the term juvenile as a "boy who has not attained the age of 16 years and a girl who has not attained the age of 18 years" but later on the parliament enacted Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 and the age bar was raised to 18 years for both girl and boy. The Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 lays down that juvenile in conflict with law may be kept in an observation home while children in need of care and protection need to be kept in a children home during the pendency of proceedings before the competent authority. This provision is in contradistinction with the earlier
  3. 3. Acts which provided for keeping all children in an observation home during the pendency of their proceedings, presuming children to be innocent till proved guilty. The maximum detention could be imposed on a juvenile is for 3 years remand to Special Home irrespective of the gravity of offence committed by him and JJ Act, 2000 immunes the child who is less than 18 Years of age at the time of the commission of the alleged offence and from trial through Criminal Court or any punishment under Criminal Law in view of Section 17 of the Juvenile Act. A GLIMPSE OF JUVENILE LAW IN OTHER COUNTRIES: 1. In U.S.A age to determine juvenility varies from state to state, in most of the states it is 18 years but in few it is 17 years and 16 years respectively. Many states permit execution of juvenile of 16 years for murder as an adult and could be tried by criminal courts for prosecution and punishment as adults as per the gravity of the alleged offence. Till now many juvenile offenders have been executed under capital punishment but in 2005 Supreme Court of U.S.A in the case of Roper v. Simmons, held that it is unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed while under the age of 18. 2. In U.K child between 10 to 18 years becomes criminally responsible for his action and be tried by the Youth Court and could be tried in an adult court as per the gravity of the offence committed. 3. In France no criminal charge can be brought against a child up to the age of ten years; and for child between ten to thirteen years of age, only educational penalties such as placing in a specialized Centre or home are to be given, while between thirteen to sixteen years of age, minors will get only half of the adult sentence. Lastly, between sixteen to eighteen years of age, person would be remanded to Criminal Court and plea of juvenility can be set aside. The basic rule which is followed by most of the countries legislature is that the plea of juvenility would be set aside and he would be tried in a criminal court if the crime committed by the minor is a heinous one such as murder, rape etc. Setting a simple number as an age to signify maturity isn’t the solution. Minor laws vary across the world. In the UK, 16-year-olds are allowed to drink beer and cider, have sex and be detained
  4. 4. for longer periods for more heinous crimes. They are allowed to make most of their decisions and even provided with contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.The USA defines its minors as under-18, but the laws vary from state to state. They however have punishments like life imprisonment for serious acts which are ‘unspeakably sad’ even if they are committed by a human being who is a ‘work in progress’ CURRENT SCENARIO IN OUR NATION:- In our country the time has come in order to bring some reform in the Juvenile laws as there is a steep rise in serious crimes involving youth of 16 – 18 years of age and they very well know that below 18 years is the 'getaway pass' for them from the criminal prosecution. The punishment should be made a bit deterrent in order to inject the feeling of fear in the mind of the criminal. The recent rape case of "Nirbhaya" has caused utter dismay, concern and outrage amongst the people. The gruesome act of brutalizing her with an iron rod was done none other but by a juvenile and he has been sentenced for a period of 3 years as per Section 15 of JJ Act, 2000 as per our law for juveniles. The principal ought to have been followed for trying juvenile offenders is that Juvenility should be decided as per the state of mind and not just the state of body. The girl's parents challenged the Juvenile Justice Act seeking a criminal trial against the 18-year- old saying he was an equal participant in the assault and rape of their daughter. Defending the panel’s recommendations to reduce the age for juvenility, Prof Shanta Sinha, chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, argued ‘it will be difficult to reduce the age bar as India has signed and ratified the UN convention on the rights of the child where the age limit for juveniles has been fixed at 18 years’. A knee-jerk reaction like this could actually do more harm than good and bending to populist sentiment is very dangerous for a government. What the law should instead do is provide the scope to judge each case on its own merit instead of setting ceilings to define minors or majors. That is the only way to create an environment where juveniles get the true treatment they deserve.(* Delhi gang rape: Why we need to rethink our juvenile laws Nirmalya Dutta February 1, 2013) The heinous crimes such as rape, murder etc. are crimes which totally destroys the moral of the victim's family and if it's a rape then it's a lifelong stigma for the girl and her family member. Many offenders of these crimes walk free after serving a minimal period of sentence after being
  5. 5. proven juvenile as per the so called records. Thousands of cases go unreported in our country just because of the stigma attached and most of the time victims are shunned from the society and are left unmarried just because that she was not physically strong enough in order to fight for her freedom from the clutches of the person or persons. The juvenile who commits crime of this gravity should not be left to walk free after serving maximum of 3 years that too in special home. It is high time that the law should be amended on the same footing of countries like U.S, U.K etc. where a juvenile is also tried in a criminal court depending on the gravity of the offence committed by the minor. Law can never be specifically defined as it is dynamic and needs to change with time. This also applies to the different rules set in the Indian Legal System, especially the Juvenile Justice Act,2000 too.It is the need of the hour to change the age of juvenility as it has proved to be a very big loop hole in a desperate try to save the future's nation which is unintentionally giving immunity to many delinquents who purposely take the advantage of this provision under Juvenile Justice Act. It is time that Juvenile Justice Act changes its policy.This can be simply achieved by leaving it to the discretion of the judges to decide the immunity or the punishment to be given to a juvenile shall be decided on the basis of the mental as well as the maturity level of a minor and the gravity of the offence committed by the minor rather than a simple set age of 18 years which seemed to be fit earlier.