Should a juvenile be seen as an underaged child even if he commits a heinous crime

Nirbhaya Case! I know I might be making you all remember the most horrifying and inhumane acts of our so called “ modern India”. But I feel our opinion matters and hence I decided to put this out. Six men were involved in the gang rape and one of them was of 17 years old (a juvenile). His name was Mohmmad Afroz. As per the juvenile justice act, a juvenile can be charged for maximum 3 years of imprisonment in a reform facility and the same happened with Mohmmad Afroz. Many people found this punishment inappropriate and even asked for an amendment of the juvenile justice act. But nothing happened then and today, he is alive, all hale and hearty. The juvenile release received two kinds of reactions from the public. The first was of an immense anger and hatred towards the decision of leaving the juvenile so easily and the second reaction was from activists and few community workers who found the decision absolutely correct, arguing the criminal being underaged and stating that his past life and mental distortion should be kept in mind while making any claims.

I truly believe that age should not be considered if such serious crimes are in consideration. I will really appreciate your views on the same. Do you think that the act should have been amended and he should also have been sentenced to death?

Well the act has been amended in 2021, March which contained many amendments including the two below:

  • The Act provides that the Juvenile Justice Board will inquire about a child who is accused of a serious offence. Serious offences are those for which the punishment is imprisonment between three to seven years. The Bill adds that serious offences will also include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of more than seven years, and minimum punishment is not prescribed or is of less than seven years.
  • The Act provides that an offence which is punishable with imprisonment between three to seven years will be cognizable (where arrest is allowed without warrant) and non-bailable. The Bill amends this to provide that such offences will be non-cognizable.

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