The Government is  replacing Juvenile  Justice Act of 2000 with a new law that has special provisions

New Delhi : The Government is replacing Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 with a new law that has special provisions against children above the age of 16 years committing heinous offences.

These provisions will act “as a deterrent for child offenders committing such crimes and will also protect the rights of victim to justice,” Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi told the Lok Sabha during the question hour.

In a reply to Congress member Mausam Noor from West Bengal, she said the draft of a comprehensive Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill was placed on the ministry’s website inviting comments until July 3, and it has been now circulated for the inter-ministerial consultation before it goes to the Cabinet for approval to introduce it in Parliament.

The draft bill provides for the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) that handles all crimes of children up to the age of 18 to refer to regular court of the heinous crimes committed by those above 16, after reviewing their cases within a month of their detention.

It, however, takes care by providing that such children shall not be sentenced to death or life imprisonment irrespective of howsoever heinous crime may be. Maneka Gandhi pointed out that the new law has been in the making since 2011 as three regional consultation and a national consultation with the state governments and representatives of the society had been held over the past three years.

The minister said the new law would strengthen punitive measures committed against children to cover the offences such as corporate punishment to a child for discipline, physical penalty or verbal abuse causing severe emotional distress or trauma, ragging or using the child for peddling or smuggling any intoxicating liquor, narcotic drug or psychotropic substance.

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