Try juveniles above 16 years as adults, says ministry

New Delhi, Dec 2: The Women and Child Development Ministry has proposed that juveniles above the age of 16 years, involved in heinous crimes like murder or gang-rape, be tried as adults.

If passed, the new proposal to amend the existing law will deny protection to juveniles aged between 16-18 years under the Juvenile Justice Act.

The decision comes almost a year after the role of the juvenile in the Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape case sparked off a debate over lowering the age limit for juveniles involved in heinous crimes and trying them under the Indian Penal Code provisions applicable for adults.

Sources said the proposal is part of a draft note being prepared by the ministry for cabinet approval.

The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the central government on a petition seeking to strike down the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act that bars criminal courts from trying juvenile offenders.

The juvenile involved in the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi got away with very light punishment.

Juveniles were also involved in two gang-rape cases July 31 and Aug 22 at the Shakti Mills in Mumbai.

IANS