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Juvenile Justice Bill: Ramdas Athawale claims those with sexual urges should be forcibly married

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“Those who have sexual urges… they should be taught a lesson. They should get married. And if they have sex, then it should be consensual.”

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On Tuesday, veteran lawmaker Ramdas Athawale, the president of the Republic Party of India made some bizarre remarks before passing the Juvenile Justice Act in parliament. He was quoted saying by NDTV, “Those who have sexual urges… they should be taught a lesson. They should get married. And if they have sex, then it should be consensual.”He also used an expletive that was expunged from the remarks. He also claimed that during the times of Shivaji, no one would commit such crimes as their hands and legs were broken and the law should allow a modern democracy like India to do the same. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi thanked the opposition for passing the much-expected Juvenile Justice Bill under which juveniles aged 16 years and above will now be tried under laws for adults for heinous crimes.”This is a Bill that everyone feels strongly about and I am happy that everyone supported it,” Gandhi said as she stepped out of Parliament. Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary said her party was the architect of the Bill in many ways and just wanted an intense debate on various aspects of the Bill. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the walkout by the Left parties was not in protest of the Bill, but because they wanted the Bill to go to a Select Committee so that all aspects are looked into. “If tomorrow you catch hold of a young ISIS terrorist, you will say bring down the age by another two years. The question is not about the age but the kind of crime that has been committed,” he said. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, which provides for lowering the age for trial from 18 years, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier.

Juvenile Justice Bill: Here’s what Maneka Gandhi said in Rajya Sabha

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Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.

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The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill was on Tuesday tabled in Rajya Sabha for consideration and passage. Following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Parliamentarians have cut across party lines to seek the passage of the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act at the earliest.Discussing the bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi claimed that the bill is compassionate.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She said, “We may not be able to do anything about the Juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya case, but we can deter many other boys from doing the same.”Here is what she said.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday assured the parents of Nirbhaya (December 16 gang rape victim), that he would be extending all his support to get the Juvenile Justice Bill passed in the Raya Sabha.”We are meeting every one because the Bill is to be tabled today. He (Rahul Gandhi) has said that he supports the Bill and would support it,” Nirbhaya’s mother told the media.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be today passed in the Parliament.

BJP assures Nirbhaya’s parents over Juvenile Justice Bill

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“We have been assured that Juvenile Justice Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha today. He (juvenile) would not have been released if this bill had passed six months ago. Be it delayed, but we want this bill to be passed in Parliament,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.

Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi

ANI
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be on Tuesday passed in the Parliament.”We have been assured that Juvenile Justice Bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha today. He (juvenile) would not have been released if this bill had passed six months ago. Be it delayed, but we want this bill to be passed in Parliament,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.After meeting Nirbhaya’s parents Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asserted that there should not be any delay in the passing of this bill. “We salute the initiative that has been taken by Nirbhaya’s parents. We had listed the Juvenile Justice Bill 12 times in the Monsoon Session but unfortunately, the Parliamentary proceedings could not take place and eventually the bill was not passed,” Naqvi told media after meeting Nirbhaya’s parents.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”So far, we have listed this bill for five times in the ongoing Winter Session. We are confident that this bill would be passed by the Rajya Sabha today. We believe that there should not be any delay to bring a stringent law,” he added.With the Supreme Court showing its inability to prohibit the release of the juvenile in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in the absence of laws, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had on Monday said the ruling dispensation at the Centre is keen to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill and was also ready to bring supplementary agenda on it in the Parliament.The apex court had dismissed the petition of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard. Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.

Govt using Juvenile Bill to deflect attention from DDCA row, says Kirti Azad

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Kirti Azad accused the government of making a “clever” attempt to defame the opposition.

BJP MP Kirti Azad outside Parliament, New Delhi, on December 18, 20, 2015.

PTI
Congress has accused government of playing “brazen mischief” by proposing to bring the unlisted Juvenile Justice Bill in Rajya Sabha on Monday, alleging it was to “defame the opposition” and divert attention from DDCA issue.”Let them not do this mischief. This is a total brazen mischief on the part of the government…. This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said after Congress disrupted proceeding in both the Houses demanding resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for alleged graft in Delhi and District Cricket Association.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked if Congress will support the bill, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said, “Yes, we have said bring it tomorrow. Let them bring it tomorrow.” He added that supporting is not the question. “The question is it should come before the House. There are 27 opposition parties and we will discuss it tomorrow,” he said.Azad accused the government of making a “clever” attempt to defame the opposition.”You see the cleverness. This is called cleverness. Bring it tomorrow because it is not listed. It is an after-thought. This is only to divert the attention of the opposition from raising other issues, about DDCA, so that we do not raise the DDCA issue. Bring the Juvenile Justice Bill, so that they will be abused left and right by mediapersons. Please don’t get into that trap,” he said outside Parliament.The Leader of Opposition said he told the government at the all party meeting to bring this Bill before the House, but it was not listed in today’s business.”Now it is an after-thought, so that the opposition does not rake up the issue of the Finance Minister. So they said it is OK we will bring up this bill and pass this also. Just to defame the opposition,” he said.Asking government to bring the Juvenile Justice bill tomorrow, Azad said the SC/ST Bill should be brought today as it is listed. He said whatever is listed today in the original list will be passed and asked for bringing the Juvenile Justice bill on Tuesday. The Juvenile Justice Bill was included in supplementary list of business today.

Rajya Sabha passes SC/ST Bill, supplementary demands without debate

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The House returned to Lok Sabha the Appropriation (No. 4) Bill and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill containing the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet government’s expenditure.
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After days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the crucial SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill along with two bills on supplementary demands for 2015-16, within minutes without any debate.The House returned to Lok Sabha the Appropriation (No. 4) Bill and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill containing the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet government’s expenditure. As the House reassembled at 2 PM after four adjournments earlier, the Opposition criticised the government’s move to bring the Juvenile Justice Bill through the supplementary agenda route.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad objected to this saying that the ruling party itself was complicating the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have said that we want to pass the SC/ST Bill. At the all-party meeting, I had said that the Juvenile Justice Bill should be tabled. But it was not in agenda today. But because of media reports, the government has now put it in the supplementary business. It is only a ruse to shame the opposition in public by saying that we had presented (the bill) but the opposition had objected,” Azad said.He said the matter can be taken up tomorrow and should be listed as the first in the business. “This is being done only so that the media and public criticise us. Don’t use the House to play the media,” Azad said.Following this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien took up the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015. This was passed unanimously through a voice vote without any discussion. Congress leader Hussain Dalwai did not move his motion for certain amendments after his party asked him not to do so. There was thumping on the desk as the House passed the Bill. The two Appropriations Bills were also passed in a similar manner without any discussion.TMC leader Derek O’Brien stood up and told the Chair that it was important to mention that the Bills were passed unanimously and not in a din. To this, a smiling Kurien said, “How can there be din? There is perfect calm and tranquility. Everybody is cool. A cool breeze is blowing. I don’t know where this breeze is coming from”.As Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi sought taking up of more Bills, Azad hit back saying, “all of us have agreed and I said we will pass Bills in the next three days. We had said we will pass the SC/ST Bill and we have fulfilled our promise.””We have shown our efficiency, capability and cooperation by passing the three Bills in such a short time. We should not be penalised for our efficiency”. Naqvi then stood up and urged the opposition to “show some more strength”.The opposition members argued that it was decided at the all-party meeting that after the passage of the Bills, there would be debates on issues like intolerance, floods, price rise and the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, on which there was an agreement. The Congress received support from CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury who said discussion on these issues should be taken up after the bills have been passed.As Naqvi insisted that more bills be passed on Monday, Congress members came into the aisles and then entered the Well shouting slogans demanding the resignation of the Finance Minister over alleged bungling in the DDCA. Kurien then adjourned the House till 3 PM.

Nirbhaya Case: Centre says Juvenile Justice Amendment Law is ‘high priority’

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‘On behalf of the Central Government, we were specifically asked as to what our stand is. Keeping in mind the interest of the society and the issue of juvenile himself, we submitted that we are in favour of purposive interpretation of the law in such a fashion that it could be adopted to ensure that the society is not endangered also to assure the safety of the juvenile,’ she added.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who appeared for the Centre in the hearing of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) plea, on Monday said that Juvenile Justice Amendment Law is a high priority item for the ruling dispensation at the Centre. ‘The arguments put by the petitioner, DCW, were that the law should be interpreted in a fashion which should be in favour of society to say this that until the reform process is completed, till then the juvenile should not walk free in society because it is a danger to society as well as a danger to the juvenile himself,’ Anand told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’On behalf of the Central Government, we were specifically asked as to what our stand is. Keeping in mind the interest of the society and the issue of juvenile himself, we submitted that we are in favour of purposive interpretation of the law in such a fashion that it could be adopted to ensure that the society is not endangered also to assure the safety of the juvenile,’ she added.Anand further asserted that on behalf of the Central Government they urged that the Juvenile Justice Amendment Law is before the Rajya Sabha and the attempt was to go through it as quickly as possible. It is a high priority item for the government. It is extremely important that this act should go through as quickly as possible.The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard. Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years. The parents of the victim protested in the national capital yesterday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free. Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

Nirbhaya case: Why acting so late to stop juvenile’s release, victims’s parents ask

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The reaction action Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in a dramatic move approached the Supreme Court late Saturday night to stay the convict’s release.

Victim’s parents

PTI
Questioning the role of the Centre and Delhi government, the parents of December 16 gangrape victim on Sunday asked why they did not take action earlier to stop the imminent release of the juvenile convict. Opposing the release of the juvenile, the victim’s mother said, “Our fight is just on the issue that he (juvenile convict) must not come out. If he will come out then what is the point of hearing (by Supreme Court) or any other thing.” “All knew that he will be released so steps should have been taken during these three years,” she said adding, “I want justice and stay on his release.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The reaction action Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in a dramatic move approached the Supreme Court late last night to stay his release. In their order pronounced at 2 AM, a vacation bench refused to stay his release, scheduled for today, by giving an urgent hearing and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow. The victim’s father too expressed unhappiness with the Centre and Delhi government for showing “helplessness” on the issue of release of the juvenile “What hearing? But what can we do? Whatever the court is doing is right. Our government, whether Centre or state, they only listen to you when you protest and get lathicharged, else they don’t care. However, if proper hearing or verdict would have passed on this case, then we would not have seen this day,” he said. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had filed a plea in the High Court against the juvenile’s release, pointed to the “provisions” which have to be applied before the juvenile convict is formally released. “According to rules of the Juvenile Justice Act, he can can be left out from the custody of the Juvenile Justice Board but he cannot be released as free person till management committee appointed for the purpose decides whether he is mentally sound, whether he has socially mainstreamed and that he has reformed.”

Amends to the Juvenile Justice Act must come from a place of knowledge, not blood-thirst

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Nirbhaya case: Subramanian Swamy not in favour of releasing juvenile convict

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BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had earlier filed a Public-Interest Litigation (PIL) before the High Court to extend the stay of the juvenile.

Subramanian Swamy

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Sunday asserted that the juvenile convict should not be released as a free person till management committee decides whether he is mentally sound and whether he has been socially main streamed. “The High Court judgment is correct that the law says three years and no way that any High Court or Supreme Court can change that. But the issue is that there are other provisions that have to be acted upon before he is formally released as a free man. According to the rules, he can”t be released till a management committee decides whether he is mentally sound”He was supposed to release yesterday but he has not been released, Management committee has up to two years to decide. So, he will be under controlled movement for two more years,” Swamy told ANI in Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Nirbhaya case: DCW chief Maliwal writes to Juvenile Justice Board asking them not release convict “DCW has filed the petition at night, why so late ” I don”t think there is any way in the present laws to keep him in custody of the juvenile justice board. He has to be kept under chains in some forms by using the rules. That the best I can say,” he added. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had earlier filed a Public-Interest Litigation (PIL) before the High Court to extend the stay of the juvenile, claiming that there was no proof he had been “reformed” and that intelligence reports had said he was being “radicalised” while in detentionDelhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal late on Saturday filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against the release of the juvenile convict in Nirbhaya gangrape case. The apex court has decided to hear the petition on Monday.The convict in Nirbhaya gang rape case is now 20 years old. He was a juvenile in 2012 when he committed the heinous crime along with his friends in a moving bus in the capital. The court found him guilty of raping and assaulting the victim, who later died in hospital, along with five accomplices. Due to being a juvenile when the crime was committed, he was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act and was ordered to be kept in a remand home for three years. The convict, to be the most brutal of the attackers, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life. He is scheduled to be released today.Meanwhile, K Kavitha of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) said the juvenile’s release could not be stopped.

Nirbhaya rape accused to walk free tomorrow

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The victims’ parents, who were present in the court, were crushed and heartbroken upon hearing the order. Visibly moved with tears in eyes, Asha Devi, the mother vowed to carry on the fight for justice.

Nirbhaya’s mother Asha expresses her disappointment after the Delhi High Court refusal to stay release of the juvenile convict on Friday.

PTI
The juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case will walk free on Sunday. The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to extend his stay in the observation home saying the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 has stipulated the maximum period of three years. “Having regard to the fact that the maximum stay that can be directed in the Special Home under Section 15(1) of the Act is three years and that the respondent No.1 (convict) would be completing the period of three years by December 20, 2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the Special Home beyond December 20, 2015. Hence, we decline to issue any direction as prayed by the petitioner,” a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The victims’ parents, who were present in the court, were crushed and heartbroken upon hearing the order. Visibly moved with tears in eyes, Asha Devi, the mother vowed to carry on the fight for justice. BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy, the petitioner in the case, was seen consoling the parents in the courtroom, assuring them that he has not given up. “This fight is not just for your daughter alone, it is now for the nation,” Swamy said. Two days ago, the victims’ parents had staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here protesting against the release of the juvenile. At that time, the mother had said she would continue her fighting till the very last moment. In its order, the high court also directed the Juvenile Justice Board to take a final decision on his rehabilitation and the management committee of the Delhi government would keep a watch on him for two years as per the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Rules. The convict, who is now 21, is to release on December 20 after his three years stay in the observation home as part of the sentence for the offence of rape. The bench directed Juvenile Justice Board (JJB-II) shall interact with the juvenile his parents/guardians as well as the officials concerned of the department of women and child development, Delhi government regarding the “post-release rehabilitation and social mainstreaming” of the juvenile and pass appropriate orders in accordance with the provisions of the JJB Act and Rules. It referred to the Rules 55 which makes it mandatory for the Management Committee to consider and review periodically post-release or post restoration follow up. Rule 65 also provides for a detailed procedure of restoration of the juvenile back to the family and the follow-up action by the Juvenile Justice Board. The bench also recorded the Rule which restrains the JJ Board from sending the juvenile to his family in case he is reluctant to go home. According to the Rule, a quarterly follow-up report to the JJB by the concerned Child Welfare Officer or Probation Officer or the non-governmental organization for a period of two years. The bench, however, never closed the petition saying the issue raised by the petitioner is “of public importance” which needs deeper consideration. The court has to ascertain the factum of reformation of the juveniles in conflict with law before they are released from the Special Home on expiry of the period of stay ordered by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). The court sought response from the Centre and Delhi government to file response on the issue within eight weeks, while posting the matter for March 28, 2016. The court’s order came on Swamy’s plea against the release of the “unreformed” juvenile convict. He cited the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report about him having been radicalised after being shifted with a juvenile apprehended in connection with the Delhi High Court blast case. The Centre had told the court that juvenile’s stay in an observation home should be extended till all aspects including mental health and post-release rehabilitation plans are considered by the authorities. The juvenile, who was under 18 when arrested for brutal rape and murder of a para-medical student on December 16, 2012, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. He was ordered to be kept in a remand home for three years.Swamy in his plea asked the court to pass order that “such unreformed juvenile not be released until it is demonstrably assured that he has reformed, ceased to be radicalised and is not a menace to the society”. Meanwhile, a trial court had awarded death penalty to four rapists which was upheld by the high court. Out of the six convicts, prime accused Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail and the juvenile was sent to reform home.The appeals for four convicts are pending before the Supreme Court.

Release of juvenile convict: Maneka Gandhi puts blame on Rajya Sabha

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Maneka Gandhi said the existing law is insufficient to hold the punishment of the accused juvenile who was the most gruesome of all six rapists.
File Photo
PTI
As decks seemed to be cleared for the release of the juvenile convict in December 16 gang-rape case, Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday blamed Rajya Sabha for not passing the Bill to amend the Juvenile Justice Act which seeks stringent punishment for children aged between 16-18 involved in heinous crimes.”I would blame Rajya Sabha for not passing the law. Had they passed the Bill, he (accused juvenile) would not have gone scot-free,” Gandhi said outside the Parliament.She said the existing law is insufficient to hold the punishment of the accused juvenile who was the most gruesome of all six rapists. The juvenile convict, now 20, is likely to walk free on Sunday after his three-year sentence at a correction home gets over.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There is nothing that we can do as the existing law cannot deal with this,” the Union Minister for Women and Child Development said.Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said though the court’s decision cannot be questioned, the matter needs to be deliberated upon to find a solution.”I cannot question the court’s decision as it works in the ambit of laws. We will have to deliberate upon possible solutions in this matter,” she said.However, BJP leader and former top cop Kiran Bedi said even after he is released, the 20-year-old youth can be arrested by Delhi police for apprehension of breach of peace.”Rapist being released can be arrested by Delhi Police under 107/151 of CRPC for apprehension of breach of peace till SC considers parents petition,” she tweeted.The order evoked dismay among activists who said that it was necessary to ascertain that the youth has been reformed before releasing him in the society.”The probationary officer appointed by the Juvenile Justice Board is supposed to present the assessment report to the law enforcement agencies saying that he is fit to go back to society or that he is no more a threat. It is very understandable that High Court could have made a directive as we have not passed the law. Law makers are not serious about it, that is why they are letting this legislation without amendments hanging in Rajya Sabha,” said Social activist Ranjana Kumari.Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson, Swati Maliwal said she would appeal to the Chief Justice of India, Delhi High Court and write to the President against the release of the juvenile.”Some kind of analysis needs to be done as to what kind of reformation this man has gone through. We are hounded by emails, messages and calls from women who are feeling scared with the very fact that this man will come out in open, he could be travelling in a taxi or a bus. India needs to know what reformation he has gone through,” Maliwal said.Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said, “It is a collective responsibility but primarily of the state because the whole focus of our judicial system is not retributive but reformative. And we focus on giving second chance to a person and specifically in the cases like this. Youth have got so much energy and if it is not channelised positively it can turn destructive.”Brushing aside the public outcry against his release, a High Court bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed the Juvenile Justice Board to interact with the convict, his parents and concerned officials of Department of Women and Child Development regarding his “rehabilitation and social mainstreaming”.The bench said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking stay on the release of juvenile convict cannot be allowed as the statutory and existing law was coming in its way.

Justice for Nirbhaya: Delhi HC seeks Centre’s reply on steps post release of juvenile

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the government to inform it about the measures taken, if any, regarding post release rehabilitation of the juvenile, who will walk out of the observation home on December 15 after serving the stipulated three year incarceration

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought Centre’s response on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea that the juvenile convict in the December 16, 2012, gangrape case be not released till it is “demonstrably assured” that he has reformed and was not a menace to society.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the government to inform it about the measures taken, if any, regarding post release rehabilitation of the juvenile, who will walk out of the observation home on December 15 after serving the stipulated three year incarceration. The court asked whether a management committee has been constituted as per the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Rules, is it still in existence and what are its activities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”What are the plans, take instruction. it is not an ordinary case and requires consideration,” the bench said. It issued notice to the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home Affairs and the juvenile convict through JJ Board and also asked the government to get instructions from the committee and listed it for hearing on December 14. The court passed the order after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain and central government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh told the bench that while there was no opposition to extension of the juvenile’s stay at the observation home, as per the rules the committee has to make plans for post release rehabilitation.Counsel for the Centre placed before the court the reports of the IB relating to the behaviour of the juvenile during his stay in special home. However, the court asked the counsel to place the report before it in a sealed cover.The government was responding to Swamy’s petition, who claimed that there is lacuna in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, as amended in 2011. JJ Board had sentenced the juvenile three years detention in reformation home.In his petition before the HC, Swamy contended that “no provision has been made in the Act, to provide for vicious unregenerate convicted juveniles who despite having undergone the reformation process for the maximum penalty of three year’s custody in a special home, continue to be a menace to the society”. “…provision has to be made to deal with such juvenile for further period in such a manner that he does not prove menace to the society.”The question arises, in a very acute form, in the instant gangrape case, where the respondent no.1 (juvenile), one of the offenders, who was adjudged to be under eighteen years of age at the time of the offence, is about to complete the maximum period of the offence prescribed…. and yet it is learnt that there is a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs wherefrom it emerges that this juvenile has not reformed but has become worse, having been radicalized by association with another juvenile convicted of involvement in the 2011 Delhi High Court blast,” the plea said.He also said in his petition that the JJ Board should be given some “teeth to deal with such a case of an unreformed juvenile criminal”. The Supreme Court had earlier rejected Swamy’s petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.He had sought that juvenile in the case be prosecuted in a criminal court in view of the gravity of his offence. Six persons, including the juvenile, had brutally assaulting and raping a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by trial court in the gang rape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013, and proceedings against him were abated following his death.

Supreme Court asks govt to come with SOP on missing children

The bench, meanwhile, asked senior advocate HS Phoolka, appearing for the NGO, to give suggestions on the steps to be taken for implementing the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

The bench had asked the Ministry to inform it about the status of missing children and those recovered in a state-wise tabular chart as on March 31.

File Photo
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to come out with Standard Operating Procedures to trace missing children across the country after taking note of suggestions of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan. A social justice bench of justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit also asked the Ministry Of Women & Child Development to integrate the functioning of websites — khoyapaya.gov.in and www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in, meant for tracing the missing children.The bench, meanwhile, asked senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the NGO, to give suggestions on the steps to be taken for implementing the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The senior advocate will have to give his inputs to the Centre on the standard operating procedures as well.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the apex court had slammed the government for its “casual” approach towards missing children and imposed a fine on it for not complying with its directions like providing the status of such children across the country. Imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 on the Ministry, it had also expressed displeasure over non-filling up of vacancies, including for the post of Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). The bench had asked the Ministry to inform it about the status of missing children and those recovered in a state-wise tabular chart as on March 31.The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Bachpan Bachao Aandolan (BBA)’ on the large number of missing children across the country.

Mother Teresa’s charity blames gay people, divorcees for stopping adoptions

The Modi government’s WCD Ministry had recently decided to implement the revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Mother Teresa

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Mother Teresa’s charity the Missionaries of Charity has stopped adoptions in India after new government guidelines which allowed single parents to adopt.However, in a bizarre claim, the charity has blamed ‘gays and lesbians’ for stopping adoptions.According to pinknews.co.uk and Gay Star News, has shut down all orphanages so that ‘the children will not have gay or divorced parents’.Speaking about the decision not to offer adoptions, Sister Amala told UK media: “The new guidelines hurt our conscience. They are certainly not for religious people like us. What if the single parent who we give our baby [to] turns out to be gay or lesbian? What security or moral upbringing will these children get? Our rules only allow married couples to adopt.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Modi government’s WCD Ministry had recently decided to implement the revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act, which allow single parents to adopt, among other amendments.Related Read: Orphanages run by Mother Teresa foundation to close down?”Till now the Mother Teresa’s (Foundation) orphanages had their own agenda and now when they have to come under a unified secular agenda they are refusing it. They have decided not to follow the guidelines,” WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi had said. She said that the ministry will try to persuade them to put children up for adoption.”We will try and persuade them because they are valuable people and have experience. But if they do not listen then those children will have to be shifted to other places,” she said. 13 of the 16 orphanages running under Missionaries of Charity have applied for cancellation of registration.

Telangana: Two police constables flout Juvenile Justice Act, handcuff minor

The Juvenile Justice Act states that a minor cannot be handcuffed.

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Two police constables, who were taking a 14-year-old boy to a correctional home in Nizamabad, are under the scanner.The constables apparently handcuffed the minor while taking him from from court to the assigned correctional home.According to a report in Deccan Chronicle, child rights groups have demanded that police officials take action against the two constables. The Juvenile Justice Act states that a minor cannot be handcuffed nor be exposed as a criminal in public.The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights also wants action taken against the two cops. Medak SP B Sumathi has reportedly stated that memos have been issued to the constables.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The teenager was charged for theft and was ordered to be taken to a correctional home.

Supreme Court imposes cost of Rs 25,000 on Centre for not filing response regarding Juvenile Justice Boards

The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for not filing the response before it in a matter relating to the functioning of the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) across the country.

The Supreme Court on Friday imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for not filing the response before it in a matter relating to the functioning of the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) across the country.The bench, meanwhile, directed all the states and union territories (UTs) to ensure compliance of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, which includes setting up of JJBs in each district in the country by the year-end.”You (the Ministry of Women and Child Development) are not even bothered to file your affidavit. You will have to pay the cost,” the social justice bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry, which had said that it has developed an online mechanism for submission of reports on juvenile issue, was to file a detailed report, which was not done.”The nature of this on-line mechanism is not mentioned in detail. The counsel appearing on behalf of the Ministry says that he will submit a detailed report and will also examine whether the monitoring mechanism can be improved.”He also assures us that all the states and union territories will be impressed upon to submit their quarterly reports in terms of the monitoring mechanism,” the bench had said.Earlier, the court had decided to scrutinize functioning of JJBs and sought complete details on the pendency of cases, frequency of its sittings, vacancy of posts and other related issues.It had also asked the Member Secretary of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to get in touch with the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and the state Legal Services Authority (SLSA) in every state and UTs and obtain certain information.It had also sought the total number of pending inquiries with each JJB as on March 31. The bench, hearing a PIL seeking proper implementation of Juvenile Justice Act and its rules, had asked the Centre, state governments and NALSA to apprise it about the exact number of JJBs in the country and their present status.

Juvenile Justice Act: In Lok Sabha, Shashi Tharoor says amended bill will embarrass govt

The central government on Wednesday moved the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha which, if passed, will allow children in the 16-18 age group to be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes.

The amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014 has been moved keeping in mind the increasing number of serious offences being committed by teenagers in the 16-18 years’ age group, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said while moving the bill.

Participating in the debate after the bill was introduced, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said: “A majority of children in conflict with law come from illiterate and poor families. These are the ones you are trying to punish instead of giving them education.”

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. AFPCongress MP Shashi Tharoor. AFP

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. AFP

He claimed that the entire concept of prevention of presumption of innocence has been done away by with.

The Congress MP who is a former diplomat and UN under secretary, addressing the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, said the amended Act will not only cause embarrassment to the government but it will also violate “United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 or the Beijing Rules which require a child or a young person accused of an offence to be treated differently from an adult.”

The proposed legislation, which would replace the existing Juvenile Justice Act 2000, clearly defines and classifies offences as petty, serious and heinous, and defines differentiated processes for each category.

The amendment bill further reinforces these principles through introduction of a new provision that disallows the protection from disqualification in cases where a juvenile is tried and convicted under the adult system.

The ministry of women and child development had introduced the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014 in the Lok Sabha in August 2014.

The bill had been referred to the standing committee which had recommended keeping the juvenile age at 18 years.

Tharoor further added that the Bill violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 and Article 15(3) of the Constitution, and said that of the 472 million children of the country, only 1.2% have committed crimes. And that, of these, only 2.17% had committed murder and 3.5% had committed rape. “How can we pass a law that will jeopardise the other 99.98% children in this country because the government wishes to over-react to these handful of cases,” he was quoted as saying by DNA.

Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said police who are going to investigate should have women. “We should also have child psychiatrists in the juvenile justice boards.”

Biju Janata Dal’s Tathagat Satpathy said care and protection should be of prime importance and not retribution which one should look at.

“What is it that is causing the child to adopt a path of criminality, we should explore that,” he said adding that implementation of the law has been the biggest problem.

“Not a single child who is innocent should be punishment because of the ambiguity in our laws,” Satpathy said. “District boards should have the freedom to judge each and every case on individual merit.”

Moves to amend the juvenile justice act had begun immediately after the December 16, 2012, gang rape of a young girl in a moving bus in Delhi in which one of the culprits was a juvenile.

With agency inputs

With proposed amendments, Juvenile Justice Boards set to play major role in child welfare

New Delhi: Juvenile Justice Boards are set to a play major role in effective implementation of provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014, which was introduced in Parliament on Wednesday, though they have huge pendency of cases.

ReutersReuters

Reuters

The Bill provides that in case a heinous crime has been committed by a person aged between 16 and 18 years, it will be examined by Juvenile Justice Boards, which will have psychologists and social experts on its panel, to assess if the crime was committed as a ‘child’ or as an ‘adult’.

According to government data, as many as 45,258 cases were pending before 612 Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) in the country and 8,210 cases in 626 Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) till September 2014.

Delhi has maximum number of pending cases of 1,759 in the CWCs, followed by Rajasthan (1,657), Kerala (992), Tamil Nadu (818) and Chhattisgarh (663). While many states have district-wise CWCs and JJBs, Delhi has seven CWCs and two JJBs for its nine districts and Chhattisgarh 17 JJBs in 27 districts.

Similarly, with 12,831 cases Gujarat has the highest number of pendency in JJBs, followed by Rajasthan (8,647), Chhattisgarh (6,840), Tamil Nadu (5,066) and Odisha (4,735).

According to a parliamentary committee report, majority of child care institutions were marred by complaints of poor infrastructure and staff behaviour and high rates of abuse perpetrated by adults in child care homes and institutions.

“Child care institutions instead of giving proper care and protection have often left children vulnerable and resulted in their exploitation,” the Committee noted.

The legislation aims at streamlining adoption procedures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children by making mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care.

The legislation proposes several rehabilitation and social integration measures for institutional and non-institutional children. It provides for sponsorship and foster care as completely new measures.

PTI

Minor girl found pregnant, parents allege rape by 2 boys

The boys aged 13 and 14 respectively have been detained and they will be produced before Juvenile Justice Board here, police said.

A 12-year-old girl has been found to be more than seven months pregnant, with her parents alleging that she was sexually abused by two minor boys, police said.The boys aged 13 and 14 respectively have been detained and they will be produced before Juvenile Justice Board here, police said.The incident came to light today when the victim, who belongs to village Chandakedi of Tehsil Bilaspur, complained of a severe stomachache and her family took her for a medical check up where she was found to be over seven months pregnant.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her parents then submitted a complaint to the police and subsquently the girl was admitted to a government health centre here.Police said the girl is a student of Class 5 while the accused are students of Classes 7 and 8 and added that investigations are underway in the case.

Amending JJ Act will neither deter serious offenders nor reform juvenile crime

The reformative foundations of India’s juvenile justice law have been shaken. One of the new proposals in the Union Cabinet’s move to introduce a law to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 will empower the Juvenile Justice Board to determine whether children between the ages of 16 and 18, who have been accused of having committed some particularly serious crimes, should be tried under the regular criminal justice system.

Treating children the same as adult offenders is abhorrent to the philosophy underpinning the law passed in 2000. Through “child-friendly” adjudication and the disposition of matters in the “best interests of children”, this law intended to rehabilitate “children in conflict with the law”. It recognised India’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular, the responsibility to promote the reintegration of such children and their assumption of a constructive role in society.

Reuters image.Reuters image.

Reuters image.

The government has not been shy about this. In October 2013, the President of India had said that, “There is demand for a law which has a deterrent effect, where the guilty are punished in accordance with the nature of the offence they commit, irrespective of their age.”

The rehabilitative (and not deterrent) motivations of the 2000 law can be seen in the constitution of the Juvenile Justice Boards — they feature experts in child development and child psychology along with a magistrate, the various orders that the board could pass — such as counseling or releasing a juvenile on probation of good conduct, and the requirement to consider a social investigation report into the juvenile before passing an order.

After consideration of the various factors that led to the conflict with the law, the boards could choose an order to implement the rehabilitation strategy best suited to the specific offence and the specific juvenile.

This differentiated approach to managing different cases also allows the board to take into account, the seriousness of the offence. For instance, if it feels that the offence in question is so serious that it is not in the interest of the juvenile or the other juveniles in a home to place him at that home, and if it feels that none of the other orders available are suitable for such a case, the board can order that the juvenile be kept in a “place of safety” in a manner it thinks fit.

Governments however, have let down these noble motives of the juvenile justice act. The juvenile justice system does not have specialised or motivated staff and the quality of social investigation reports, counselling, and mentoring during probation is reported to be largely abysmal. The JS Verma Committee, which recommended reforms to India’s criminal law, had noted in its report that there had been “a failure to create the requisite infrastructure which would help children to be reintegrated into society.” With the recent proposal, the government is discarding the reformative philosophy behind the law without ever having given it a fair chance to succeed.

Spurred down this path to build deterrence by the violent crimes committed against women and girls by young boys, the government should, instead of discarding an entire system based of reformation, sharpen the differentiated approach of the law to empower the juvenile justice system to implement strategies for the reform of these specific classes of juveniles.

While the law provides for different orders to suit different rehabilitation objectives, there is a gap when it comes to the subjects of juvenile sexual offenders and violent offences.

If they are treated the same as adults accused of crimes, these juveniles will not be able to access the opportunities for reform presented by the juvenile justice law. Any debate on the new proposal should, apart from highlighting the starvation of the juvenile justice system, also acknowledge the significant dangers of trying juveniles in the adversarial criminal justice system and in holding them in prisons housing adult offenders.

Apart from closing the door on reform, it is also doubtful whether the objective of deterrence would be realised by amending the Juvenile Justice Act.

Aju John is part of the faculty at myLaw.net, where he teaches courses on Sports Law and Media Law.

Now after cabinet nod, juvenile criminals aged 16-18 years in heinous crimes may be treated as adults

New Delhi: Overruling the recommendations of a parliamentary panel, government today went ahead with a proposal to try juveniles in the age group of 16 to 18 years accused of heinous crimes under laws for adults.

“The Cabinet has approved amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, whereby juveniles in the age group of 16-18 can be tried under Indian Penal Code (IPC) if they are accused of heinous crimes,” I T and Communication Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The issue was brought before the Cabinet a fortnight ago but was dropped from the agenda at the last moment and it was decided that an informal group of ministers will examine the issue.

Rejecting the recommendations of a Parliamentary Standing Committee, the Women and Child Development Ministry had decided to go ahead with the proposal.

The Supreme Court had also recently observed that there was a need to relook at the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act in cases where the accused have committed crimes like rape, murder dacoity and acid attacks.

Several ministers in the Cabinet meeting supported the proposal saying a person accused of crimes like rape should be treated as an adult, a senior minister said after the meeting.

“The new proposed Act (the amendment bill) provides that in case a heinous crime has been committed by a person in the age group of 16-18 years it will be examined by the Juvenile Justice Board to assess if the crime was committed as a ‘child’ or as an ‘adult’.

“Since this assessment will be made by the Board which will have psychologists and social experts, it will ensure that the rights of the juvenile are duly protected if he has committed the crime as a child. The trial of the case will accordingly take place as a juvenile or as an adult on the basis of this assessment,” an official statement said.

The amended bill also proposes to streamline adoption procedures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children. It establishes a statutory status for the Child Adoption Resources Authority (CARA).

The legislation proposes several rehabilitation and social integration measures for institutional and non-institutional children. It also provides for sponsorship and foster care as completely new measures.

Mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care is also in the offing.

New offences, including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of children by militant groups and offences against disabled children have also been incorporated in the proposed legislation.

The major amendments include removal of Clause 7 that relates to trial of a person above the age of 21 years as an adult for committing any serious or heinous offence when the person was between the ages of 16-18 years; enhancing the period of preliminary inquiry by the Juvenile Justice Board in case of heinous offences committed by children in the age group of 16-18 years; increasing the reconsideration period for surrender of children by parents or guardians; enhancing the period for inter-country adoption in case the child is not given for domestic adoption; assigning the role of designated authority to monitor the implementation of the Bill to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and making the central and state governments responsible for spreading awareness on the provisions of the bill.

The amended bill will be brought before parliament again in the ongoing budget session, official sources said.

PTI

Child Labour Bill must be passed in budget session, says Nobel Laureate Satyarthi

The Child rights activist and Nobel laureate said it is shameful that Indian law does not protect children from all forms of child labour.

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi interacts with the media in Hyderabad on Friday.

PTI
Child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Friday demanded the government to ensure a complete ban on child labour up to the age of 14, saying that the Child Labour Bill should be tabled and passed during the second half of the Budget session in Parliament.”An amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act will lead to a total ban on all forms of child labour up to the age of 14 and ban on worst forms of child labour involving hazardous work up to the age of 18,” Satyarthi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The proposed amendments will synchronise with existing laws of the country–Right to Education and Juvenile Justice Act–he said, adding that complete ban on child labour up to the age of 14 will ensure that it can be matched with Right to Education Act (2009), and banning all worst forms of child labour upto the age of 18 can match with the existing law on Juvenile Justice.”Towards this end, we have been struggling on bringing amendments for the past six years right from the previous government. I am thankful to Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who too had recently assured on this. But that should not remain a lip-service. My demand is that this amendment has to be brought in the next part of budget session. It has to be first tabled and then passed,” Satyarthi demanded.”Indian law does not prohibit all forms of child labour. It prohibits only the hazardous forms of child labour. It is an irony and shameful to say that India has enacted two new progressive laws Right to Education and Juvenile Justice Act,” he noted.Kailash Satyarthi Nobel Laureate “We are also demanding that those children freed from child labour should be entitled for rehabilitation benefits under government schemes…I will be satisfied if the government and the society would own it that this our responsibility to put an end to child labour in all its forms,” he said.He further said that 179 countries have ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention to combat the worst forms of child labour. “Unfortunately, India has not yet ratified this convention. This besides, India has also not ratified convention on minimum age of admission to employment and work,” he said.Reacting to a query on proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act, Satyarthi said “amendment was necessary in Juvenile Justice Act. It is not clear what kind of amendments it will be, we have to wait for the amended draft of the law which will be brought in Parliament hopefully.””However, I am against minimising the age of juvenile. Care and protection should be given to all children upto the age of 18. Juveniles should not be kept (in prison) with other criminals and special measures have to be taken,” he said.Globally, 17 crore children are still working as child labourers and 85 million out of them are victims of worst forms of child prostitution and child slavery, Satyarthi added.

Child Labour Bill should be passed during second half of Budget session: Satyarthi

Hyderabad: Child rights activist and Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi on Friday demanded the government to ensure a complete ban on child labour up to the age of 14, saying that the Child Labour Bill should be tabled and passed during the second half of the Budget session in Parliament.

“An amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act will lead to a total ban on all forms of child labour up to the age of 14 and ban on worst forms of child labour involving hazardous work up to the age of 18,” Satyarthi told reporters here.

Kailash Satyarthi in a file photo. PTIKailash Satyarthi in a file photo. PTI

Kailash Satyarthi in a file photo. PTI

The proposed amendments will synchronise with existing laws of the country — Right to Education and Juvenile Justice Act — he said, adding that complete ban on child labour up to the age of 14 will ensure that it can be matched with Right to Education Act (2009), and banning all worst forms of child labour upto the age of 18 can match with the existing law on Juvenile Justice.

“Towards this end, we have been struggling on bringing amendments for the past six years right from the previous government. I am thankful to Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who too had recently assured on this. But that should not remain a lip-service. My demand is that this amendment has to be brought in the next part of budget session. It has to be first tabled and then passed,” Satyarthi demanded.

“Indian law does not prohibit all forms of child labour. It prohibits only the hazardous forms of child labour. It is an irony and shameful to say that India has enacted two new progressive laws Right to Education and Juvenile Justice Act,” he noted.

“We are also demanding that those children freed from child labour should be entitled for rehabilitation benefits under government schemes,” he said, adding that “I will be satisfied if the government and the society would own it that this our responsibility to put an end to child labour in all its forms.”

He further said that 179 countries have ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention to combat the worst forms of child labour. “Unfortunately, India has not yet ratified this convention. This besides, India has also not ratified convention on minimum age of admission to employment and work,” he said.

Reacting to a query on proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act, Satyarthi said “amendment was necessary in Juvenile Justice Act. It is not clear what kind of amendments it will be, we have to wait for the amended draft of the law which will be brought in Parliament hopefully.”

“However, I am against minimising the age of juvenile. Care and protection should be given to all children upto the age of 18. Juveniles should not be kept (in prison) with other criminals and special measures have to be taken,” he said.

Globally, 17 crore children are still working as child labourers and 85 million out of them are victims of worst forms of child prostitution and child slavery, Satyarthi added.

PTI

Cabinet drops amendments to Juvenile Act from agenda, prefers re-look

New Delhi: A proposal to try juveniles in the 16-18 age group accused of heinous crimes under the IPC was “dropped” from the agenda of the Union cabinet today amid opposition by rights activists and a Supreme Court observation that there was a need to re-examine laws on the issue.

Policemen in plain clothes escort the juvenile accused (C) in the 2011 New Delhi gangrape case. AFPPolicemen in plain clothes escort the juvenile accused (C) in the 2011 New Delhi gangrape case. AFP

Policemen in plain clothes escort the juvenile accused (C) in the 2011 New Delhi gangrape case. AFP

The women and child development ministry had rejected the recommendations of a parliamentary committee not to try juveniles in the age group of 16 to 18 years under laws governing the adults (IPC). Juveniles are tried under the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act at present.

The bill was referred to the standing committee and the ministry had accepted some of the recommendations and rejected some others.

The bill was brought before the cabinet for a final call.

Official sources said that the proposal was “not at all taken in the cabinet and was dropped from the agenda”. Two senior ministers said after the meeting that a need was felt to have a “thorough look” at the provisions proposed in the amendment bill.

The sources said that the ministry also wanted to examine the observation of the Supreme Court made yesterday that tough provisions are required to try juveniles accused of heinous crimes like rape, murder and acid attack.

Rejecting the recommendation of the parliamentary committee, the Ministry of Women and Child Development was seeking cabinet approval once again for its proposal to try juveniles aged between 16-18 years who commit heinous crimes under laws governing adults.

During the recent Budget session, the Parliamentary Standing Committee for human resources development, had tabled a report that rejected any such provision in the proposed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014.

The Supreme Court had yesterday said there was a need to re-examine various laws dealing with juveniles involved in heinous crimes and asked the government to see whether necessary changes could be done to have a deterrent effect.

The apex court said the spurt in involvement of minors in heinous crimes stressed the imperative need to mull changes in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

PTI

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