In a bid to bring the juvenile criminals to law, BJP Rajya Sabha MP, Vivek Thakur, raised the need to review the amendment brought to the Juvenile Justice Act 2021. According to the revision, maximum imprisonment was made “more than seven years” and the minimum sentence was not prescribed or “made less than seven years.” Both stipulations were made in the case of “serious offences.”
The MP claimed that following this there have been several instances where juveniles are escaping punishment despite committing heinous crimes largely known that the modification has made certain crimes of heinous nature fall under the purview of “serious offences.”
The MP reminded that post the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape case, amendments were made to laws including the Juvenile Justice Act, making it more stringent. Thereafter, any crime committed by a juvenile between the ages 16-18 years of age, permitted law to try the accused as an adult.
However, as Thakur pointed out, in 2020 the Apex Court observed in a judgement that the JJ Act 2015 does not deal with offences where the maximum sentence is more than seven years of imprisonment, it does not prescribe any minimum sentence and/ or is vague about cases where the minimum sentence is of less than seven years. The court ordered that these should be treated as serious offences and the government followed by bringing amendments to the JJ Act of 2021.
The MP has sought a relook into making heinous crimes fall under the purview of “serious offences.”