A serious question mark on the justice system

This article underlines the essence of changes to be made in crimes connected with minors. In turning children to crimes, no less responsible are the institutions like parents and schools. In addition, the political and parliamentary institutions are also equally to blame. Alongside finding out the correct reasons of heinous crimes committed by the minors, laws also should be amended according to times and circumstances.

Right after the gang rape in Delhi in last December, debate over the score of the nature of crime is furiously going on in the country over the nature of crime and the age of minor. The court has sentenced the minor accused for three years of jail term. The mother of the victim has fully rejected this sentence as too little too late. People are hurt for award of so small a punishment for so huge a crime. Their contention is that the minor should be awarded no lesser a punishment than the capital punishment itself. There is the need to understand the serious crime, committed by this minor, involved in the gang rape, his age, and the punishment received in context with the juvenile justice act 2000 and 2007. This act considers the boys below 18 years as minors. The punishment to be meted out to the minor for committing serious nature of offense is to the maximum of three years only, that also to be spent not in common jails but in children reformatory centers. This question is worth pondering why only three years of punishment is there for such a barbaric offense.

The need for framing a separate law for minor criminals

We have to learn many lessons from Delhi gang rape verdict . The difficulty is that the crimes committed by the minors are tied with the children's rights and protection act. In fact, the need to frame such law minor offender arose because teens below 18 years of age have been treated to be minor under the declaration paper of children's rights, issued by the UNO and in the international law. In addition, the fundamental rights of minors below 18 were ensured in it deliberating upon the entire gamut of crimes related to minors, their illiteracy, exploitation, torture etc. It as only after this that the entire countries of world framed laws related to crimes committed by the minors. In India also, this law was passed by the parliament in 1992. In pursuance to this, the JJ Act-2000 was enacted and came in force. The former form of this act had many flaws and the age of the minor in this was also put at 16 years. The age was later in 2005 increased to 18 years through amendment. Now to reduce this age of 18, the debate has surfaced up once again. However, the point to be noted here is that reducing the age of 18 is not entirely under the hands of government alone. India has signed three international agreements like 'Convention of children's' rights' that asserts commitment towards children, Beijing rules and Riyadh guidelines.

Organized crime has converted into a well-oiled industry

The recent report 'National Crime Record Bureau' tells the there has been a quantum jump by 188 % in the rate serious nature of crime executed by minors. This increase was a mere 34 % in 2010. Due to loose criminal justice procedure, the organized crime against women has taken the shape of industry. State of women's fate in the patriarchic society is very dismal. One PIL petition was filed in the Supreme Court in which this was said that about 55 thousand children had disappeared during last three years. Not only the demand for searching these children was made in this petition but request were also made for award of capital punishment to the mafias involved in the activities of disappearing children. It has come to notice that adult criminals use these children for committing serious nature of crimes. Today, several such gangs are active that first kidnap children, turn them habitual drug addicts and later compel them to commit crime.

It has become known from the sentenced minors during the course of their counseling that they were brought in Delhi at the age of 10-13 by an agent and engaged in different tea dhabas as child labor. During these times, they were assaulted brutally for several times over. They had to live with the mentally unsound persons. This was the consequences of this that they tended to commit crimes of such serious nature at such a small age. Several thousands of such minors are spending their lives in child reformatory centers through the country over. Nevertheless, reformation of children is absent in these child reformatory centers.


Children are becoming adults at a little age in this cyber world. Fault of the likes of families and schools are in way less in turning children to the world of crime. Besides this, the politico-parliamentary institutions are also responsible for this. Certainly, the anger boiling from within, over the score of increasing number of sexual crimes being committed against women raises a direct question mark on the existing laws and present political scenarios. However, in zest, the issue must not be merely reducing or increasing the age of the minor criminals. The society and the country is aware of this fact that the age in the JJ Act-2000 cannot be that easily amended, but at least this much of amendment in the juvenile's law could be done that if a minor above 16 years has been caught in a serious crime, cases could be instituted against them as a common man. It is not as if the minor crimes are happening in India only. There are provisions for punishment for life term and even capital punishment in accordance with the seriousness of offenses committed by minors also in countries like America, England, Holland, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Pakistan, and Nigeria. The laws related to minor crimes should also be amended according to the changing times.


Guest Author: Jishnu28 Sep 2013

In India there is always a soft corner for the minors and often their offenses are pardoned and let off with the warning due to their tender age. But that weakness of our law is giving a long rope to the trouble makers who are indulging in such acts which even the elders wont dare to do it. Surely the law makers must think at the necessity of giving more strict punishment to the wrong doers no matter he is under age. Now a days boys knows every thing at the tender age and hence law should be changed to deal with them firmly at that age itself.

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