Juvenile Maturity and Heinous Crimes: A Re-Look at Juvenile Justice Policy in India
Gauri Pillai & Shrikrishna Upadhyay*
Volume 10 Issue 1 (2017)
On December 22, 2015, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 received parliamentary approval, bringing forth an entirely new regime with respect to juveniles above the age of sixteen, accused of committing heinous offences. The background for its introduction was set by the horrific rape of a young student in 2012. The government justified the law as a measure which would have a deterrent effect on potential juvenile offenders. However, the opponents argue that the law would defeat the objective of having a separate juvenile justice system, and would not serve the goal of deterrence. They instead suggest that efforts be expended in ensuring more effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000. The paper analyses the viability of the mechanism proposed by the new measure. It also evaluates the potency of the counter claim which proposes that the existing law be better implemented, and thereby examines the necessity for the introduction of a new approach governing juvenile policy in India.