The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Bill, 2014 was recently tabled before the Lok Sabha to replace the existing Juvenile Justice Act of 2000.
At this juncture, representatives of the Indian academia, lawyers, social activists as well as public spirited citizens have called into question the social consciousness with which “minor” has been defined and protected in the proposed amendment. However, we should not lose sight of the objective with which the Act of 2000 was passed, i.e. to cocoon “minors” from exploitation.
The paradox deepens, when one attempts to answer a fundamental question- On our eighteenth birthday, how many of us undergo a radical change of personality?
The need for expeditious amendment and resolution of this issue must be seen in the light of several heinous crimes perpetrated by minor- one of several instances is the 2012 Delhi gang rape case.
The idiom of ‘kids not acting their age’ expresses a grave incongruity within the law. It is the need of the hour to care and protect the minor especially on the face of gross exploitation. Yet, where the minor takes an unfair advantage of the safeguards granted to him by law, should law hit back with equal vengeance?
In light of the above arguments, the Legal Aid Society of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata believe that differences in opinion are equally, if not more essential than consensus in a democracy.
Thus, we seek to collate diverse perspectives yet again in our fifth issue of “Let’s Get Talking!” an informal magazine that seeks to compile views on issues of socio-legal relevance. This year we are looking to broaden our reach and include a wider panorama of perspectives from across the country.
Send us your articles, opinions, caricatures, experiences, trivia or anything under the sun. Mail in your queries/contributions to email@example.com no later than 31st January, 2015.
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Looking forward to an enthusiastic response.