Reform POLICE Reform NATION
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1. With respect to the 16th December 2012 rape and murder case, the degree of crime must be considered in terms of penalty imposed on the 6th accused juvenile. Differentiation of juveniles is required, such as those charged with crimes like rape & murder, compared to petty theft.
2. Implementation of Police reforms as per Supreme Court Judgement in 2006. Despite several committees & commissions voicing the same, it has not been implemented yet.
A. JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Social inequality and the lack of equal opportunities often drive people to crime, especially in the case of teenagers who lack the mental maturity to truly understand gravity of such acts committed by them. In order to protect the childhood of these juvenile offenders, the 2000 juvenile justice act provided blanket immunity to a person below the age of 18. But such a blanket immunity has failed to serve its purpose.
The 3 year reformative period at a juvenile home has in fact emboldened the teenage criminals. In 2000, 198 cases of rapes and in 2011, as many as 1,149 cases of rapes committed by juveniles were reported. In a recent rape case in Meghalaya 8 of the accused were juvenile. Additionaly, in the much publicized Maulana Azad Medical College- student rape case, one of the accused was a minor.
The Beijing convention, on which Juvenile Justice Act was modeled had recognized that there can neither be any hard and fast rule nor blanket protection solely on age criteria and in appropriate cases criminal behavior is to be punished with lengthy imprisonment. Therefore there is a need to make a distinction on the nature of crime committed by minor and not on a strict threshold of age.
B. NEED FOR POLICE REFORMS
1. Working of Indian police is based on Indian police act of 1861 which is a legacy of British rule and thus to make the police function in accordance with the democratic norms and values, police reform has been considered to be imperative.
2. With the passage of time, malfunctioning has occurred in the working of police administration & police reforms will remove such disfunctionalities to an extent. 16th Dec 2012, a girl is gang raped by 6 men in a bus roaming in South Delhi streets, crossing various barricades and police check posts, which is a clear indication of failure of the force.
National Police Commission (NPC)in 1979 was set up to report on policing and give recommendations
1. Various commissions and committees worked on these recommendations and strongly supported the desirability of police reforms in India. Eg. Riberio Committee, Padamnabhia Committee, Soly Sorabhji Committee, Madhav Menon Committee, NHRC, Law Commission.
2. In 2006, Supreme Court directed the Centre and state governments to make seven major changes in the existing Police which would involve restructuring, training, sensitization, accountability etc at various levels to ensure proper functioning of the department as a whole.
(7 Directives on Police Reforms issued by Supreme court- http://goo.gl/6qJvH)
Sources online available at-
Meghalaya gang rape case, 16th Dec 2012, http://goo.gl/k5Hh3
Maulana Azad Medical College gang rape case,17th Jan 2005, http://goo.gl/kzaS4
Haveripeth Prakash D., Juvenile Justice- A hard look, International Research Journal of Social Sciences, January 2013, http://goo.gl/4jIrH
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