Juvenile Justice Bill tabled in LS

The government on Tuesday introduced the Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014, in the Lok Sabha which permits prosecution of juveniles between 16 and 18 in regular court if they commit heinous crimes.

The decision on whether the trial will be held at the Juvenile Justice Board or regular court will be taken by the Board, after considering the nature and circumstances of the crime.

However, in no case will such juveniles be awarded death penalty or life imprisonment.

The bill, which has been mired in controversy from its inception, was taken up by the Women and Child Development Ministry soon after the mass protests and outrage over the 2012 Delhi gang-rape incident. A juvenile was found to be involved in most gruesome acts against the victim in the case. 

The bill that was introduced by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has also made changes in laws which relate to rehabilitation of juveniles who are in conflict of law.

Provisions have been made to make rehabilitation more family and society oriented. The ministry also proposed repeal of the legislation which was enacted in 2000.
The bill proposes “proper care, protection, development, treatment and social re-integration by adopting a child friendly approach”. 

The bill proposes to protect their rights as a child and also proposes that theses offenders, in no case, would be put in a lock-up. 

The provision that allows severe punishment for juvenile offenders has been surrounded by controversy.

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