The topic “Age of Criminal Responsibility” is one that bears extreme social relevance upon criminal jurisprudence relating to juvenile justice system in India. The ‘Nirbhaya Case’ has generated strong discussion for revisiting and broadening the age range for fixing criminal responsibility for heinous serious criminal offences by Juveniles.
There are two schools of thought prevailing at the moment, while the Justice Verma Committee recommended to continue with the present age of 18 years as the “age of ‘juvenile’, the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women took a different view and has recommended lowering the age of male juveniles from 18 to 16 years and suggested a serious debate on remedial measures to check the trend.
In its report on ‘victims of sexual abuse and trafficking and their rehabilitation’, the Committee observed that a total of 22,740 crimes punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 were committed by juveniles during the year 2010.
The Committee has analyzed the profile of juveniles apprehended, and found that most of the crimes have been committed by male juveniles in the age group of 16-18 years.
The pro-Child Rights and Juvenile Justice advocates argue that the principle ()Chest interest’ of the juvenile or juvenile in conflict with law or child shall mean for instance that the traditional objectives of criminal justice, retribution and repression, must give way to rehabilitative and restorative objectives of juvenile justice; and so feel that the receding of age will be an regressive decision.
Constitutional guarantees and Role of State
Fundamental Principles and Objectives of Juvenile Justice
Conflicting Rights Perspective – Equality and Positive Discrimination
State Policy on minimum age
Forms of Justice and Criminal Law Reform
Role of Society, Extended Family and Parents
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