SC to examine definition of juvenile, whether be tried as adult in extreme cases

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the definition of juvenile in the Juvenile Justice Act, in the wake of the brutal gang rape and assault of a 23-year-old in Delhi in which among six accused, one is a juvenile.

Under the Juvenile Justice Act, a person would be a minor till the age of 18 years and the board has also described the sixth accused a minor on basis of his school/ birth certificates.

Examining the definition of juvenile, source said the apex court has considered if the gravity of an offence committed by Juvenile has to be examined at his age point of view or be tried as an adult in heinous offences.

April 3 has been fixed by court for hearing a PIL asked that the judiciary should have the powers to decide whether the accused should face charges under the Juvenile Justice Act, is juvenile or not.

Reports suggested that the petition, filed by two advocates–Kamal Kumar Pandey and Sukumar– seeks to strike down the definition of juvenile from JJ Act, lowering of age of juvenile to 16 years from the present 18 years.

The counsel said that the constitutional validity of the definition of juvenile in the Act is in conflict with the law, and is much better classified under section 82 and 83 of the IPC which says nothing is an offence which is done by a child above 7 years of age and under 12 and who has not attained the maturity to understand or judge the nature and consequences of his conduct, reports said.

Refusing to consider Justice Verma committee report on the issue, the apex court also refused to hear the states or NGOs.

However, a notice has been issue to Centre on a PIL to assist the court in the matter of juvenile with law.

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