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We are satisfied … but there is grief that our daughter Jyoti was denied justice, says victim’s mother after RS passes Juvenile Justice Bill

Rajya Sabha members on Tuesday bowed to an emotionally surcharged public pressure, debated for more than four hours, went against a UN convention, rejected amendments and opposition and passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill. In fact, with the 2012 Dehi gang-rape victim Jyoti Singh’s parents watching the proceedings from the gallery, two members even withdrew their motion for sending the Bill to a select committee first. “This is a nuanced Bill….It does not mean that a 16-year-old goes to jail at all,” said Maneka Gandhi, Union minister for women and child development.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> What it prescribes is that if a child, between 16 and 18 years of age, commits a heinous crime, he will be sent to a Juvenile Justice Board. “The board, with the help of psychologists and experts, will decide whether the crime was committed with an adult’s mind or a child’s mind,” she explained. Several Opposition members wanted the Bill to be sent to the select committee first to crease out several anomalies, but withdrew their amendments for a smooth passage of the Bill. Even the Congress did not support the amendments moved by its own member Prof. M V Rajeev Gowda. The Left parties walked out in protest declaring that though they are in favour of the passage of the Bill, it should be referred to the select committee first as it deals with a very sensitive issue that should not be drowned in emotions because of public pressure. Many members also criticised the lowering of age as it went against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It mandates that all children under the age of 18 years be treated equal. India is a signatory to this convention. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May after including 11 out of the 13 recommendations by the parliamentary standing committee. It now needs the final assent of the President to become an Act. Incidentally, it was Maneka Gandhi who, as a minister in 2000, had increased the age of juvenile culpability from 16 years to 18 years. What is the incident?In December 2012, 23-year-old Jyoti Singh was beaten and gang-raped in a private bus by six persons in New Delhi, of which one was a juvenile, a few months short of 18 years. The juvenile walked free after serving the maximum sentence of three years’ confinement in a reform facility. One accused died in police custody, and the other four are on death row. The incident and the law on juvenile justice sparked a public outrage across the

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Juvenile Justice Bill: As parents watch, Nirbhaya gives India what she didn’t get