SC seeks Centre`s reply on plea to reinterpret term juvenile
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked for Centre`s response to a plea which sought a fresh interpretation of the term juvenile saying instead of 18 years age limit, the "mental and intellectual maturity" of such offenders be considered while fixing their culpability.
"Issue notice. Meanwhile, give a copy (of petition) to the Union of India," a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said on Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy`s petition.
The bench also decided to tag the plea of Swamy with other petitions saying they "more or less" also deal with the similar issues.
During hearing, Swamy said the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (JAA) provides for a "straitjacket" interpretation of term juvenile that a person below the age of 18 years is a minor and it was in violation of the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Beijing Rules on the issue.
The UNCRC and Beijing Rules say the presumption of "the age of criminal responsibility" be fixed while "bearing in mind the mental and intellectual maturity" of offender, he said.
A provision of the JJ Act says "`juvenile` or `child` means a person who has not completed eighteenth year of age."
"I submit, that since it was the intention of Parliament, as stated in the Preamble, to enact JJA in consonance with the ratified UNCRC and Beijing Rules it is prayed that this Court after hearing the UOI if necessary, may read the words `mental and intellectual maturity` into the wording of Section 2(k) on the age of innocence," he said.
Swamy, in his plea, also cited the alleged role of a juvenile in the December 16 gang rape of a 23-year old girl in a moving bus here who later died at a Singapore hospital.
The present interpretation of term juvenile has the effect of "nullifying" the fundamental right to life of the victim, he said in the plea.
Swamy said India, which had ratified the the UNCRC, 1989 and adopted the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice [Beijing Rules (1985), later enacted the JJ Act.
However, the presumption of age of criminal responsibility has been fixed on the 18 years age limit in contravention of the Beijing Rules which say that "the mental and intellectual maturity" of the offender be considered while fixing criminal culpability, he contended, adding that the term juvenile needed to be revisited.
He also said "...any current ongoing trial under the JJ Act the age of criminal responsibility must be decided after reading into Section 2(k) the words: `provided that the juvenile in conflict with law is mentally and intellectually not sufficiently mature to be treated as an adult for the nature of crime allegedly committed`."
"The JJ Act was never intended to provide cover to hardened criminals who have nothing redeemable about their behaviour like the alleged instant crime of rape and murder to have been committed on the night of December 16, 2012, which partakes of such an experienced diabolical nature that it is not that of a child, nor can any person who has committed it, ever be accepted as a child.
"Such an offender must have known what he was doing, and hence emotionally and intellectually mature to stand trial as an adult under Sections 83 r/w 302 and others of the IPC," Swamy said in his plea.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- LIVE SCORE: 1st Test, Day 2 - England vs New Zealand
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday