The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of Amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014, which has special provisions to tackle heinous offences like murder and rape committed by juveniles in the age group of 16-18 years.
The proposed legislation, which would replace the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, clearly defines and classifies offences as petty, serious and heinous and defines differentiated processes for each category. The Bill provides that in case a heinous crime has been committed by a person between 16 and 18 years it will be examined by the Juvenile Justice Board to assess if the crime was committed as a ‘child’ or as an ‘adult’.
Since the assessment will take place by the board which will have psychologists and social experts, it will ensure that the rights of the juvenile are duly protected if he has committed the crime as a child, the government said. The trial of the case will take place as a juvenile or as an adult on basis of this assessment.