Juvenile aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for all heinous crimes. Parliament recently passed a law to reduce the juvenile age from existing 18 years to 16 years of age.
The discussion over the Juvenile Justice Bill was presented in the Upper House of Parliament by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development Mrs. Maneka Gandhi. She stated that the juveniles will not stay in the same jails as meant for adults. They will be kept in borstals, which will be newly created as they presently do not exist as of now.
The Bill will turn into law after the President approves it. The bill is regarded as a landmark law allowing the trial of criminals between 16 and 18 years as adults in heinous crimes including rape.
The bill was already passed by the Lok Sabha, the house of elected Indian parliamentarians, in May 2015.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2015 has been designed to replace the existing Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014. Heinous crimes have been defined as murder, rape, acid attack and kidnapping for ransom in the Bill.
The immediate passage of the Bill comes in the backdrop of the release of the former juvenile convict in the 16 December 2012, ‘Nirbhaya’ gang-rape and murder case. Parents of the victim of the gang rape victim were present in the Rajya Sabha seated in the visitor’s balcony.
They uttered satisfaction over the passing of the Juvenile Justice Bill "I just pray that our girls should be safe now. I am happy but somewhat I'm unhappy that justice wasn't served to our Nirbhaya," Asha Devi, the mother of 23-year-old paramedical student Nirbhaya `Jyoti Singh` who was gang raped by five men and a juvenile on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012. Importantly, the 2012 gang-rape incident had triggered massive street protests across the nation, prompting the central government to bring in stringent laws to deal with rising incidents of sexual crime against women.