JJ Act inadequate to deal with heinous crimes by juveniles under 16: Madhya Pradesh HC | India News – Times of India

INDORE: The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court has observed that the present law dealing with children aged below 16 in heinous-crime cases as juvenile offenders is “totally inadequate and ill equipped”.
The court also made scathing observations about the legislature, saying no lessons had been learned from the Nirbhaya case “as the age of a child is still kept below 16 years in heinous offences under Section 15 of the act of 2015, giving a free hand to delinquents under the age of 16 to commit heinous offences”. It wondered “how many such sacrifices would be needed”.
“Thus, apparently, despite committing a heinous offence, the petitioner (15-year-old boy) will be tried as a juvenile only because he is less than 16 years old,” Justice Subodh Abhyankar said.
He made the observations on June 25 while dismissing a criminal revision petition regarding bail sought by a 15-year-old boy accused of raping a 10-year-old girl in Jhabua. He was taken into custody on January 21 and has since been in a remand home.
The boy’s bail plea was denied by the Juvenile Justice Board on February 2. He appealed in the sessions court, which upheld the JJ Board’s decision on March 2, after which the boy’s counsel filed a criminal revision petition in the HC.
The judge said that if the accused gets bail, the survivor will not be safe as he will be protected under the JJ Act.
The court rejected the boy’s petition, saying that he had on January 10 raped a girl aged 10 years and four months, leaving her bleeding profusely. She required a blood transfusion and surgical correction at Indore’s MY Hospital.
The petitioner had allegedly raped her and threatened her against revealing the crime to anyone, the judge said, pointing out that his conduct “clearly reveals that he committed the offence with full consciousness and it cannot be said that it was committed in ignorance”.
“An offence of rape, being carnal in nature, cannot be committed unless a person has specific knowledge of the same,” Justice Abhyankar said, observing that the girl can’t be said to be safe and secure if he is set free on bail, “especially when he is enjoying the protection of the Juvenile Justice Act”.

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