JUVENILES AS SEXUAL OFFENDERS by Rishabh Singh at LexCliq

 

We always consider children as a face of god and hence protect them, always say that children are innocent and immature and try not to be harsh on them, but what if that child takes a face of Satan: the devil, will or should we still consider them as the same old innocent child. When a child or a juvenile commits a heinous crime such as RAPE or any SEXUAL OFFENCE, why are they not treated as actual criminals, why are they not sent away, why are they still treated as small children? The following article will try to open a door and will let you question the Indian Justice System, will let you think are these predators actually children who are immature and should not be treated as actual criminals.

The writer via this article will help you understand the consequences of not having strict punishments for juvenile rapists. Will help you understand that AGE should not be used as armor by juvenile rapists and that always letting them go without any strict penalty is not good for the future of India. According to NCRB in 2017, in India 1456 sexual offences were committed by juveniles. Studies show that juveniles are not treated harshly because they haven’t attained that maturity level or that they should be given second chance at life. In the Nirbhaya Rape case when a juvenile was convicted, Enakshi Ganguly said, “Young people are easier to bring in to an offence, because they are easier to influence and brainwash” then the same should be taken into consideration for adults rapists because brainwashing someone and bringing them into an offence is easy. Hope this article will help you open a door for a new type of justice.

Acc., to Section 375 of Indian Penal Code, Rape is defined as “A man that has sexual intercourse with a woman, against her will, or when the woman is intoxicated and in no state to give her consent or with her consent when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt. In simple words, Rape, in general, is not always considered when the victim is forced into a physical sexual act, it can also be defined when someone is pressurized, which as a result makes them feel that they have no other option than to have sex. Sections like 375, 376 of the Indian Penal Code talks about rape and punishment for the same. In India, rape is without a doubt a heinous crime and an issue of great concern. Acc., to National Bureau 2016 reports, rape is the 4th most common crime against women in India. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of rape reports among Indian states.Ø

When someone commits a crime like rape, we can say that they had full knowledge of the activities that are involved in committing such an atrocious sin. Along with time, we have heard names like Akshay Thakur (28), Vinay Sharma (20), Pawan Gupta (19), Mukesh Singh (26)Ø & Mohammed Afroz (17), all of them were sentenced to death in the famous rape case known as “NIRBHAYA HATYA KAND”, except Mohammed Afroz, he was set free after he served 3 years in a reform group. He was set free after 3 years because he was a juvenile when he committed such a sinful act.

Under The Juvenile Justice Bill, 2000 Act, any child in conflict with the law, regardless of the type of offence committed, may spend a maximum of three years in institutional care (special home, etc.). The child cannot be given any penalty higher than three years, nor be tried as an adult and be sent to an adult jail. A new bill was purposed in the house which treats all children under the age of 18 years in a similar way, except for one departure. It states that any 16-18 year old who commits a heinous offence may be tried as an adult. But what about the children under the age of 16 years, if they commit such a crime as rape why shouldn’t they be tried as adults, why does their age save them from such a sinful crime. We, as a society has failed to protect not only our girls but also our boys from falling prey to this rut. We do have harsh laws for the adult offenders who commit rape but the problem arises where the Rapists themselves are minors. Death penalty or life imprisonment has expressly been forbidden as a punishment for minors below eighteen years of age under Article 37(3) of Convention on the Rights of the Child and also under Rule 17.2 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, popularly known as Beijing Rules. Juvenile perpetrated sexual aggression has been a problem of growing concern in Indian society over the past decade.Ø

Do we really need cases like Nirbhaya gang rape, and following protests for the acts to get amended? What if tomorrow someone is raped and the accused is someone who is 15 years old, should they be allowed to escape the burden of the crime committed by them just because they were of not legal age? Is that justice to the victim? Sexual offences by young people should be seen within the context of an increase in sexual crimes committed as a whole in society.Ø

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