New Delhi: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Jay Panda on Tuesday called for a review of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA), following a jump in crimes such as rape and murder committed by under-age offenders.
"In recent times, we have been seeing some juveniles who are just under 18, have been involved in heinous crimes like rape and murder. So, if they are old enough to commit such crimes, then they should be old enough to be tried for such crimes. The law needs to be reviewed and revised accordingly," Panda said.
While hearing a case on Monday, the Supreme Court had asked the government to revisit the law and make necessary changes as it questioned the immunity enjoyed by the under-age offenders.
This comes after Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has said that juveniles accused of rape should be treated as adults.
She also said that she is personally working to amend the law so that 16-year-olds are brought out of the purview of the Juvenile Justice Act.
This is at odds with the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee, which was formed after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape to amend the criminal justice act.
A report by the panel stated that the age ceiling of 18 must be maintained as the aim of the Juvenile Justice Act is to reform the child offender.