The Indian parliament has passed a bill which allows juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults for serious crimes like rape or murder, The Times Of India, BBC report. At present, those under 18 can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reform facility. he bill was taken up against the backdrop of uproar over the release of a juvenile convict in the heinous gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl on December 16, 2012.
“I am satisfied, but sad that my daughter couldn’t get justice,” Nirbhaya’s mother said after passage of the Bill. “Juvenile Justice Bill which has been passed in RS is a tribute to our daughter,” Nirbhaya’s father said. Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi who had moved the Bill said, “I’m happy that everyone supported the Juvenile Justice Bill and want to thank everyone.”
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014, provides for the trial of those between 16-18 years as adults for heinous offences. Also, anyone between the age of 16-18 who commits a less serious offence may be tried as an adult if he is apprehended after he attains the age of 21.
Reaching out to the main opposition party, she reminded the Congress that the Bill was theirs and not hers or the NDA government’s. “We may not be able to do anything about the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case but we can deter many other boys,” she said.