This essay has been written by Akshat Bhushan, a 2nd Year Student at Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Raipur
This article provides a detailed study of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. It looks at the various international commitments of India as well as a number of constitutional provisions and Apex Court judgments that it violates by lowering the age of juvenility for offenders of heinous crimes. While doing so, the article provides an analysis of the figures released by National Crime Records Bureau in 2013 which was used by the Government of India to justify the reduction in the age of juvenility and thereby tries to establish how the figures have been blown out of proportion in order to make unjustified sweeping changes in the juvenile justice system under the pressure of public opinion. The article also looks at other issues related to the age of juveniles and tries to trace the changes that have occurred over the years in judicial interpretation and statutory enactments with respect to the procedure for determining the age of the juvenile and determining the relevant date of applicability of the Act. Towards the end, the article makes an effort to understand the juvenile justice systems of other countries in order to contemplate the changes that should be made in the Indian Juvenile Justice system to expedite the process of social mainstreaming of Juvenile offenders.
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