Explaining the nuances of the Juvenile Justice Bill (JJB), Union Minister Maneka Gandhi today presented a strong argument for the importance of stricter laws, while addressing the Rajya Sabha.
“Juvenile involvement in crime is fastest rising segment of crime in the country,” said Gandhi, adding that the JJB was a “comprehensive bill”.
She further said, “Do we protect victim or the criminals?”
Referring to the rumours of the Nirbhaya juvenile getting ‘radicalised’ in the remand home, she questioned the logic of letting Kashmiri terrorists stay in a children’s home.
“These 16 year old boys know nothing can happen to them except for a three year stint in a juvenile home,” she said.
Gandhi made it clear that after the implementation of this bill, should the courts decide to send a juvenile to an adult jail, the juvenile will “still have the power of appeal like everyone else”.
Urging politicians, particularly the Opposition, to take immediate action, she said, “Nobody remembers who passes the Bill but the people of this country will remember that a bill came in.”
The juvenile justice amendment bill is intended to allow those in the 16-18 age bracket to be charged with heinous crimes to be tried as adults.
The JJ bill was passed by Lok Sabha in May.
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