The judgement of Nirbhaya’s case which after excessive assimilation casted the dropdown of age factor in the execution of crime has brought the changes in perception of the Law. Bill passed by Rajya Sabha has brought little happiness. But as for always a neat and tidy question again arises… To what extent this judgement is justified??? Will it oppress the crimes by juveniles??… No doubt questions are inconsistent and again thwack the judicial controversy. May be it brings the broad age inclusion of juveniles in crime but it does not stand flawless. This does not sincerely analyse the situation which will overrule the crime proximity.. Exceptions always break the rules. If the case of 14 year, 13 year or might be of 9 year boy occurs, then will this again lead to depreciation of ages?? Will this continuous depreciation allow the drop down on crimes? Well now after analysing to such extent the person will grasp the consequences and concrete fact will be jotted down.
Juvenile justice is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In most states, the age for criminal culpability is set at 18 years. Juvenile law is mainly governed by state law and most states have enacted a juvenile code. The main goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment.Juveniles can be transferred into adult court if the juvenile court waives or relinquishes its jurisdiction.State statutes creating juvenile courts and providing methods for dealing with juvenile delinquency have generally been upheld by courts as an acceptable extension of state police power to ensure the safety and welfare of children. The doctrine of parens patriae authorises the state to legislate for the protection, care, custody, and maintenance of children within its jurisdiction.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Roper v. Simmons in 2005 that imposing the death penalty on offenders who were younger than age 18 at the time of the murder for which they were charged violates the Eighth Amendment. The practice is also directly prohibited by international human rights law as expressed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the American Convention on Human Rights. The acceptance of this ban is so universal that it is widely recognised as a peremptory norm of customary international law.
In U.K. a child who is aged under 10 is irrefutably presumed to be incapable of committing an offence. Prior to 1998, a child aged between 10 and 13 was presumed under doli incapax to be incapable of committing an offence unless the prosecution were able to prove that the child knew the difference between right and wrong, although a range of mitigating factors particular to childhood are normally taken into account in England and Wales. Now, children aged between 10 and 17 are capable of committing offences and it is not possible for a child to avoid liability by showing that they do not know the difference between right and wrong. However, a child should not be found guilty if they are unfit to plead.In exceptional circumstances, most notably the case of the murder of Jamie Bulger in Liverpool in 1993, children can be tried as an adult in an adult court.From the age of 18 onwards, individuals are then considered an adult in the eyes of the law. Therefore, all punishment given by the courts or other law enforcement agencies will rest solely upon them.
In Australia, it deals primarily with young people aged 10–17 at the time of the offence, although there are some variations among the states and territories. Youth justice is also known as juvenile justice.Across Australia, children under the age of 10 cannot be charged with a criminal offence due to their immaturity. While people aged 10 or over can be deemed to have criminal responsibility, in practice, in all Australian jurisdictions a rebuttable presumption exists (known as doli incapax in common law) that young people between the ages of 10 and 14 are incapable of crime. There are separate justice systems for young people and adults in all states and territories, each with its own legislation. The upper age limit in the youth justice system is 17 in all states and territories except Queensland, where the age limit is 16. This refers to the age of the young person when the offence was committed (or allegedly committed), and means that people who are aged 18 or older (17 or older in Queensland) when they (allegedly) commit an offence will be dealt with under the criminal legislation relating to adults.
However, it is possible for young people aged 18 or older to be under youth justice supervision. This includes young people who:
- were apprehended for an offence (allegedly) committed when they were aged 17 or younger
- entered supervision when aged 17 or younger and continue to be supervised within the youth justice system once they turn 18 (or they may be transferred to the adult correctional system)
- are treated as a young person due to their vulnerability or immaturity (in some states and territories)
- are aged 18–20 in Victoria, as they may be sentenced to detention in a youth detention centre rather than an adult prison where the court deems this appropriate (known as the ‘dual track’ sentencing system).
Major parts of the youth justice system include the police, courts and youth justice supervision. Young people first enter the system when they are investigated by police, and charges made against them may be answered in a court. If the charge is proven, the court may hand down any of a number of legal orders, either supervised or unsupervised. Young people may be supervised in the community or in detention. They may be supervised when they are not sentenced—that is, when they have been charged with an offence and are awaiting the outcome of their court case or sentencing. They may also be sentenced to a period of supervision if they are proven guilty in court.
In Nirbhaya’s case one of the offender was 17 years and 6 months old and the question was on the determination whether he should be tried as adult or not at the commencement of the crime.The Supreme Court rejected the convicts’ appeal and saying they had committed “a barbaric crime” that had “shaken society’s conscience,” the court upheld the death sentence of the four who had been charged in the murder. The verdict was well received by the family of the victim and the civil society. There were many rape cases committed by the juveniles and hence in lieu with this, Supreme Court directed to look after the Juvenile Justice Board amendment.Rajya Passed the bill amending the age group to 16 permissible in the limits of crime analysing the various situation in different countries.
Rajya Sabha though has passed the bill in hither and thither by external glimpses of other countries like USA, UK, Australia,etc but for a single minute if the case of morality arises then it is not fruitful in respective countries. Moreover, crimes rates have increased insensitively there. Therefore, it is well said Law does not require the external obligation. What actually matters is the intensity of crime and depth of crime proximity. Perception here is not to contradict the judgement of JJB which have justified juvenile in age factor but to rigorously adjust the consequences in a better way. As far as rigorous crimes are concerned they must be coherently observed. And no doubt the judgment would be appreciable. Crimes never occur through age factor, i.e. Age is not the essence of crime. Quick observations never bring preventive relief. It must be panacea. Hence JJB must not be oblivion and it should see the offences with analysing the doli capax and doli incapax doctrines with external glimpses of facts.