Spare our children, one Nirbhaya case can't determine fate of all boys
PMO India - presently a debate for changing the Juvenile Justice Act is being heated up deliberately by a section of media and some feminist NGOs. However, no law can be changed based on one outlier incidence of crime and that can jeopardize the future of all our boys. These are some of the reasons our juveniles should not be treated as adults and punished like adults -
1. According to international treaties like Geneva convention, to which India is also a signatory. India needs to have a special justice system for her juveniles.
2. Juveniles are in their formative years of life when their mind and brain develops into a adult mind. Psychologists say it can't be determined for sure when a person becomes adult and hence 18 years is the yardstick that is followed in majority of countries including India to determine their age of being adult.
3. Juveniles do not have proper understanding of consequences of their acts and very often they can be lured into a crime or provoked to commit a crime. In such situations punishing them like adult matured persons will be serious injustice to our children.
4. The countries that have lowered the age to consider one a juvenile have very high rate of crimes committed by juveniles. The rate of juvenile crime in India is still very less and it does not warrant a law change based on one incidence of crime.
5. The purpose behind having juvenile justice system in place is to reform the juvenile criminals and bring them back to the mainstream of population. So that they can help the nation grow in future. By giving them harsh punishments like adults will only take away this opportunity from the government and juvenile criminals will likely to join terrorist or criminal groups.
6. If the age of juvenile justice reduced by the govt. for boys will this govt. also lower the age for girls? Girls mature faster than the boys and if boys are tried as adults at the age of 16 years, then girls need to be tried as adults at the age of 13 years. As currently the legal age of getting married for girls is three years less compared to that of boys.
7. If the juvenile Act is amended, it can't be amended only to determine punishment. It also needs to give these boys other rights as Right to Property, Right to Vote, Right to drink or Right to Drive etc. Is the Govt. also considering these changes while it considers changing the Juvenile Justice Act? Not changing all these will lead to a complicated social situation in India and it is best not to make any abrupt changes in law based on one incidence.
8. One single crime can't be the basis of changing any law of the land. If it is done then it will show a mob mentality and a state can't show a mob mentality to its own children. The concept of welfare state will be violated if it is done so.
As an Indian citizen, I am deeply concerned the way our laws are changed with the help of a section of militant media. Please stop this amendment as that will jeopardize our future. Spare a thought for our children.
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