Zee Media Bureau/Himanshu Kapoor
New Delhi: The Law Ministry on Friday approved the Juvenile Justice Act amendment draft moving closer to bringing an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act where if the changes in law by the government go through, the minors above the age of 16 years accused of crimes like rape or equally severe crimes will be tried as adults.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad circulated the draft in the ministries after it was approved by the Law Ministry and was forwarded for the Centre`s approval. The Change in law was prompted after the angry protests over a accused in the December 16 gang-rape was tried in a juvenile court last year.
The proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice Act, to include minors above the age of 16 indulging in crimes like rape to be treated as adults, were sent by Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi to Prasad. And according to reports, no changes were made in the draft by the Law Ministry.
Maneka, earlier in the month, had said, “As per police report, 16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act so they can do it,” adding that if they are brought into the purview of the adult world for committing heinous crimes like premeditated murder, rape, it would scare them.
"We are changing the law and I am personally working on it to bring 16-year-olds into the purview," she had said.
The amendment in the law was also demanded by Maneka Gandhi`s predecessor in the previous UPA government, Krishna Tirath, after the fatal December 16 gang-rape which sparked a nation-wide outrage.