Author : Swati, Student at Indore Institute of Law
Co-Author : Shubham Kumar Dubey, Student at Indore Institute of Law
As our society undergone tremendous changes in every aspect, the rate of juvenile delinquency increases in very fast. Juvenile delinquencies is a very serious offense and it is destroying the peace and order of society. According to the present juvenile justice act, it is believed that the crime committed by minors is never been naturally endured in them, they commit crime because of their own stupidity and lack of discipline in them. India the analysis shows that there is trend of increasing the rate of heinous crimes committed by juveniles. It is a very serious concern for the nation on the increment of juvenile delinquency and the legal system has also responded for the same and has brought some amendments related to juvenile justice in India. This paper focuses at the causes of juvenile delinquency and the effect of juvenile delinquency on society. The root cause behind the heinous crime committed by minors is the lack of education and also lack of proper discipline in them. For the removal of delinquency of minors from society, it is needed to provide them proper education and teach them to be well-disciplined. The nature of criminals cannot be changed, so the juveniles have to get the same punishment as adults and should be treated as same. And if the minors were getting the least punishment after committing of serious offenses then they get motivated towards doing the same crime and the nature of spreading dirt in the society cannot be changed.
Keywords: Juvenile, Delinquent, Juvenile Justice Act.
“A crime is a crime, no matter what the age of the criminal. He needs to be punished.”
Our society is changing day by day it and has undergone through tremendous change in terms of its ideologies moral and ethical standard. The need for a good and comfortable life has opened new doors for the development of the society. In this fast-growing race, competitiveness and better performance in every field has brought a lot of complexities and these changes in the society and also impacted in the children mentality as well. In our country, recent times have witnessed most of the brutal and heinous crimes being committed by the children.
In accordance to our present Juvenile Justice System, when a minor commits a crime that is not naturally endured by them it is believed that the crime committed by minor is because of his own stupidity, or lack of his discipline. During the tenure of committing crime by a minor they fail to understand about the humanity and importance of humanity in the future, and their future is lost under the burden of crimes committed during their juvenile and ignorant superstition. In previous times, the law broken by youths were given the same punishment as adults and no consideration were given for being juvenile. The word ‘Juvenile’ was arrived in the late 1800s and redefined when adult offences is separated from the crime and misbehavior by youths, and new system has been developed for addressing the problem of children and development of social control. The offenses committed by the youth used to be seen as simply ‘young criminals’ but later it has been transformed to ‘juveniles’. The ‘juvenile’ tag represents a different type of behaviors at different things and different places and points in time.
WHO IS JUVENILE?
Juvenile refers to a person who is underage, teenager or immature. In other words, juvenile is a children who has yet not reached the 18 years of age defined by the law to be an adult in our country. Juvenile term has legal significance in it. Sometimes the juvenile word is also used to refer the term “child”. On aspects of law, the term juvenile is referred to a child who has not yet reached the age of an adult defined by the law for attaining the age of majority so that he cannot be held liable for committing the criminal offences like an adult under the law of the country. Juvenile is a child who is supposed to commit any act or omission which is unlawful and referred to be a criminal offences.
According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2000, any criminal offences committed by a juvenile cannot be treated as same as an adult even after the involvement in the criminal acts for the purpose of trial and punishment in the court of the law.
REASON BEHIND JUVENILE COMMITS CRIME IN INDIA:
There are many reasons behind the criminal nature of the child. There are many factors which contributes the development of the child towards committing the criminal offences. Poverty is considered to be one of the major cause towards the criminal nature of juvenile. For the desire of money and fame a juvenile always influence toward the delinquent nature. Education is one of the major factor for molding the future of a child and if a child does not perceives the proper education then there are many chances for development of his criminal nature. Therefore lack of bookish and academic interests leads to the many cases of juvenile delinquency. Delinquent nature in developed in child who takes studies as a burden and being turn towards crime. Crime committed by child under the legal age of being a majority is known as juvenile delinquency. According to reports released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) crime committed by juvenile is between the 16 years and 18 years and accounted for more than 60% crime committed in India is registered against the juvenile. However, reports also says that the number of heinous crime such as rape, murder etc. are only account to 8% of the total crimes committed by the minors and rest 72% of the crime committed by minors are theft, burglary and causing hurt. Therefore, there is not rise in the heinous crimes committed by juvenile, there is rise the gravity of heinous crimes committed by juveniles.
JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT:
- Was the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 far too liberal?
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 imposed that the juvenile in the conflict with law then offenders may have to keep in ‘observation home’ and during the time of proceeding of court juvenile have to keep in ‘children home’ with proper care and protection. A juvenile can be maximum detained for 3 years for the offence committed by him and shall be remanded to ‘special home’. According to the section 17 of the act, the alleged offence trial through the criminal court or any punishment under criminal law provides immunity to the child less than 18 years of the age.
As the rate of increasing the number of crimes committed by the juveniles the Union Cabinet has approved the an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) act, 2000, the minor whose age is above 16 years should be treated as an adult, if charge with the heinous crime such as rape and murder. However, these delinquent youth shall not be given death sentence.
- Does the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 violate the fundamental rights of a children?
The Juvenile justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 has been criticized as it has been laid down that if a minor is above sixteen years and is involved in a serious crime then the case can be trialed in the children’s court and the minors will be treated as an adult and would be exposed to the criminal procedure. This differential justice in the minor age above 16 years and below the age of 16 years triggers the criticism. This also debated that the provision led the violation of Article 14 (Right to equality). For the protection of Article 14, it has led that children who committed the petty offences and children who committee the heinous offences cannot be treated as same and special needs of each class should be taken into an account.
MEASURES TAKEN IN REFORMING THE CHILDREN:
There are many steps can be taken to reduce the heinous crime committed by the juveniles:
- Children have to take proper care and provide them love and affection they need and always be lenient to them.
- Inculcate them with the sense of security that they may have been deprived of.
- Parents should have always notices the early stage of psychopathic behavior, so that their delinquent behavior should be destroyed at their stage.
- At the very beginning of the learning stage of child, social and moral ethics should be instilled in them.
- The change in community brings the encouragement for the change in the behavior.
- Proper education should be provided to the children for their proper development and education also plays vital role in removing delinquency.
- School should develop an option of skill management and vocational training, for providing an opportunity to the children who has not the interest in the academics and this developing skills provide them opportunity for earning their livelihood even without formal education.
- If in any person delinquent behavior is detected, then the behavior must be rejected not the individual.
In the statistics it has been found that the more than 90% of crimes committed in India especially against woman is committed by juveniles. Such crime either done by independently or is initiated by other party. The root cause behind the heinous crime committed by minors because of the unprivileged status of the society. The desire of making money and earning fame compelled the minors to reach the extent that they have to commit the offence like theft, robbery, burglary, extortion, etc. which has been never thought of.
The nature of the criminal cannot be changed even after whatever the society do for him, if the nature of the person is of criminal intend then one day he will surely shows his real colors and one day surely spreads his wings and will bite and spread his poison to the society. Irony is that even the juveniles got the punishment for 3 years detention in the correction home for his heinous offences, they will never leave his nature of spreading poison to the society. Rather, they will motivates towards doing such offence because they know that they will be free after the 3 years of punishment.
Therefore, according to me minors who commits heinous crime should be treated as same as adults because the nature of spreading the poisons in the society cannot be leftover. When a minor commits an offence they would sent for detention for 3 years without punishing them. But when they comes back in society as a mature adult, will spread a poison by committing more heinous offences and makes this society a dead bed.
 Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000
 The Juvenile justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015
 The Constitution of India