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An estimated 4-minute read

Delhi Gang rape: A 17 year old adult.

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Brutally raped, badly beaten up, insertion of an iron rod inside her nether private parts and thrown naked on the streets of Delhi. That was a Delhi girl who died of such a brutal attack. While a juvenile partaking with other 5 adults, was considered by the court to be having an innocuous mind though he was the most vicious one than others while committing the heinous crime and resultantly was prosecuted before a juvenile court and was given only a minimal period of 3 years of imprisonment.

Brought to the fore was the above case of a 23 year old Delhi girl that created a huge stir in the society.  Among the 6 convicts, one was a juvenile who was sent to the reformatory home for 3 years. This judgement was highly crucified by the society. In the wake of the judgement a fiery debate took place on whether to prosecute the juvenile along with the other victims in the court or not. However, 3 years have passed nothing is yet done and the time has come when the juvenile will be set free this December 2015. That juvenile who was collectively responsible for the brutal rape and death of a Delhi girl will live a normal life like others with expunged criminal record.

Rape and murder are the most serious crimes and when such crimes are committed in a very brutal way they fall under the category of being a rarest of the rare case. It is considered to be the most barbaric act committed by a human being and that is why a capital punishment is provided for such crimes. The juvenile act believes in rehabilitation of a juvenile. Suppose a juvenile has committed theft then he will be sent for some months to the reformatory home. So the main purpose is to rehabilitate and prevent any further delinquent acts. However, this instigates juvenile to commit heinous crimes as the maximum imprisonment is just 3 years. Over the years, there has been a tremendous increase in the crimes committed by the juvenile especially in rape and murder. NCRB statistics show that the cases of rape and murder by juvenile have increased enormously. This requires serious attention of the legislature to amend the juvenile act.

Why in India, the crimes that fall under the rarest of the rare case are considered to be different from other cases. Why is there a different punishment laid down for such crimes? IPC etches punishment for a particular crime for an adult but when it falls under the category of being a rarest of the rare case, capital punishment is attracted. Therefore, adults who commit a crime which falls under the rarest of the rare case are treated differently because of the nature of such crime. Then why are juveniles not treated differently in such cases. Why are they prosecuted the same way other juveniles are prosecuted?

A capital punishment applied in the rarest of the rare case is an exception to the provisions of IPC.  Accordingly, there should be an exception to the juvenile act also in regard to crimes falling under the rarest of the rare case and thus amend the act by including a proviso considering a juvenile to be an adult in such cases. In U.K. and U.S.A. the juveniles are considered to be an adult at the time of commission of exceptionally severe crimes. This is how it should be in India for juveniles as well. The juvenile act may have a maximum of 3 years of imprisonment but it should certainly have the exception of giving the capital punishment if it falls under the rarest of the rare case. There is nothing to do with the age at the time when juvenile commits a crime so brutally that depicts the mental and physical maturity and strength of that person. The convict of the Delhi gang rape can’t be termed as a juvenile. The sexual assault committed and her private parts damaged so brutally that his acts corresponds to his mental strength. His acts depict the cruelty and the maturity level. When such acts are committed, it is not rational to show clemency towards such juveniles. These kinds of juvenile don’t require rehabilitation. The main intention of the legislature was not to give rehabilitation to such treacherous juveniles. They should be equally held responsible for such acts.

However, if it’s not feasible to give capital punishment to the juvenile, the punishment for juvenile falling under the rarest of the rare case should be more stringent as the 3 years maximum period doesn’t serve the society at all.  Is it a joke to provide minimal period of just 3 years of punishment for the juvenile in the Delhi gang rape case. The juvenile act should be amended and include more stringent rules on such like cases. If not capital punishment then atleast half of the sentenced served to the convicts prosecuted before a court or in death penalty - minimum of 15 years for the juvenile.

It was not only the family of that girl who fought for her justice; it was the whole country that got together and demanded justice. Yet we all have to watch over the convict walk away free after a short sentencing of 3 years.  The victim demands justice as the juvenile is going to be released from the reformatory home this December 2015, the judiciary and legislature should both take an immediate step for imparting justice to the victim.

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