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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The injustice of the Juvenile Justice Act

Maneka Gandhi’s statement on juvenile justice and her resolve to bring to book juveniles who rape and murder is indeed music to the ears. I fully endorse the view that a so called kid who is into premeditated rapes and murders can by no stretch of imagination classify as a kid worthy of much reduced punishment. A rape is a rape and a murder is a murder regardless of the age of the person committing it and the perpetrator does not deserve any leniency whatsoever.

India is also home to a plethora of armchair enthusiasts who carry a view on almost all issues under the sun. It is these armchair enthusiasts who so far have been highly vocal against attempts to bring about suitable modifications in the juvenile justice act. I wonder what would be the response of the most vocal armchair enthusiast is his own daughter undergoes a fate akin to Nirbhaya, yet I am reasonably certain that his views would be taking a hundred eighty degree turn.

The Nirbhaya incident of the 16th of December 2012 shook the collective conscience of the nation. Never before in the history of the republic the citizens emerged from the comfortable confines of their homes on the roads of the capital to protest against the incident. Yet justice is still awaited in this case and with the exception of the guy who committed suicide, the others are still cooling their heels and forever devising ways to delay the noose. The noose however would never await the one who was the most brutal of the lot, for the mere reason that he is a juvenile and therefore classifies for leniency under the juvenile justice act. What a travesty of Justice!

I abhor the double standards that we citizens generally tend to practice. The noose if our own kith and kin is involved and mercy or a total lack of concern if someone else is. I have always admired  instant justice the sunny deol style as witnessed in films and unless the same is implemented in real life scenario, innocents and the weak would continue to suffer.  

Spurred by the cover the act provides, juveniles have also become the favourite actors in cases of terrorism and organized crime. The act has already provided sufficient motivation to crime syndicates to bank on youngsters for their operations in India. During my stint as the head honcho of Delhi division of the railways the biggest headache was the nuisance and crime committed by the below eighteen group at almost all stations and yet we could not do anything in the matter.

For the sake of the society and also for the sake of my family I sincerely hope and pray that Maneka Gandhi does not fail in her efforts. 

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