Juvenile in Indian Constitution refers to a Child who is below the age of 18 or who hasn’t completed the eighteenth year of age under the Indian Laws, Section 2(k) of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000.
This Act of Juvenile Justice (care and Protection)2015 has been based upon the principle of ‘doli incapax’ it is found in the Section 82 and 83 of the IPC. It is assumed that a child below the age of 7, lacks the needed ability to understand the nature and consequence of his act and also fails to acquire mens rea. It is also assumed that’s only the are of 7-12 years can be convicted in regards with the seriousness of the crime whether its heinous or has the sufficient knowledge to acknowledge their consequences of their respective act.
This Act classifies the term “Child” into two different categories
• “Child in conflict with law “and
• “Child in need of care and protection”
It is important to recognize the brutalities that victims have faced and have fought against the courts to realize the need for this change. In the case of Mukesh and Anr vs. State of NCT of Delhi and ors. In this case it was found that the age of the accused should not veil on the nature of the crime he has made. As he is completely liable for his action which was a physically tortured with a iron rod and inflicting internal ruptures in her body. As it is a fact that the crime is done by the children owes the ignores of law. A PIL was filed a PIL in the High court of Delhi demanding the amendment’s to the Juvenile Justice Act 2000.as the age of 16 are involved in serious crime. As Minds of the juveniles who have attained the age of 16 commit serious crimes don’t need any extra care and protection of the society rather than Society need be aware of them.said the PIL.
It was argued n finalised that age of 16 should also be convicted and once they have attained the age of 18 should be treated as an ordinary criminal.
Also in a similar case of State of Maharashtra vs . Vijay Mohan Jaadhav and Ors. One of the accused was juvenile and other ta were adults, as in he case the rest of the accused or rapist were given a death sentence as this juvenile was excused by giving just 3 years of remand home, as this raised up a question of whether the justice was served equally?
Another aspect on the definition of the word ‘heinous’ For the total of 16-18 years as an adult, he must be an accused of a heinous crime.
As seen in the Section2(33)
“Those crimes for which the minimum punishment under the IPC or any other law for the time b eing in force is imprisonment for seven years or more.” As allowing the age of 16-18nyears would be an achievement for the Indian legal system. As this was witnesses in the case of Jalinder Nagre vs. State if of Maharashtra. In this case , the High Court dealt with a write petition. Where the act of murder was committed and was punishable under the section 407 of
IPC. As the petitions were all between the age group of 16-18 years, don’t com mint the “henious’ crime as per the 2015 Act and the Court decided that this case cannot be transferred t the Children’s Court. By setting these definti9na for the crimes which is done by the juvenile which cannot be irreparable harm. Just because of the age cycle as the reality of the crime is heinous. As they were aware of killing a person but how will it not amount to punishment of adults.?
THE RIGHTS OF CHILD
• Right to equality
Article 14 of the Constitution of India states that every person is equal before the law and has equal protection of the laws. Thus, this right is applicable to children of India, as well, because, they too, are the citizens of this nation.
• Right against discrimination
Article 15 of the Constitution talks about the prohibition of discrimination based on race, caste, etc. Under Article15(1) no citizen shall be discriminated against based on his religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. Further, Article 15(3) states that the State shall not be prevented from making any special provisions for women and children.
• Right to freedom of expression
Article19(1)(a) has conferred a right to freedom of speech and expression to each and every citizen of India. This right is applicable to everyone, including the children of India. Children have the liberty of expression as long as their opinions and knowledge do not harm others.
• Right to life
According to Article 21 of the Constitution of India, every person has the right to life, liberty and security. . Similarly, every child in India has the right to personal liberty and due process of law.
• Right to health
Under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, although indirectly, every child has the right to lead a healthy life.
• Right to education
Under Article 21A of the Constitution of India, every child in the age group of 6-14 has the right to free and compulsory elementary education..
• Right to being protected from trafficking and forced into labour
Article 23 of the Constitution of India states that every person (including children) has the right to be protected from trafficking, begging and other similar forms of bonded labour.
• Right to equal opportunities and facilities
Article 39(f) of the Constitution of India states that children must be provided with just opportunities and facilities to progress in a healthy way and conditions of liberty and dignity.
• Rights against social injustice and all forms of exploitation
Article 46 of the Constitution discusses the rights of the weaker sections of the society and that they should be safeguarded from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Every child has its own rights and innocence to be identified aa person who is able to acknowledge his or her act is heinous or not with regards to the crime done with the age and the sense of intention. With all the respective needs and rules the child AHS to be given for equal justice and enough care and protection.
This article is written by Arokiya Mary.D of Kristy Jayanti College Of Law.