Centre says it won't reduce age of juvenile offenders
Posted on: 01:51 PM IST Feb 27, 2013
New Delhi: The Centre has said that it will not reduce the age of juveniles involved in crimes even in the rarest of rare cases. This came amidst outrage over the sixth accused in the Delhi gangrape case getting away with lesser punishment.
Those below 18 will continue to be legally viewed as juveniles as defined by the Juvenile Justice Act. Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath told this to the Rajya Sabha. There were calls to reduce the legal age after the Delhi gangrape incident where one of the perpetrators was a juvenile.
But the government said only a small percent of crimes are committed by juveniles and the legal age cannot be reduced across the board.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home has decided against lowering the age of juveniles below 18 years of age despite suggestions by several members. This came as the Home Ministry said the Women and Child Development Ministry was examining the matter.
Some members also opposed a recommendation on the issue saying without consulting experts, the panel should not rush to conclusions.