The arrest of 17-year-old in the outrageous sexual assault and slaughter of Delhi victim, Nirbhaya in December 16, 2013 and 16-year-old in the heinous sexual assault of Mumbai journalist in August 22, 2013 reveal the alarming rates of the involvement of juveniles in heinous sexual assaults. In both the cases, the juvenile sexually assaulted the girls atrociously but what was more shocking was that the Child Welfare Society and Human Right Activists were up in arms demanding that they should not be punished, being juveniles.
According to Juvenile Justice Act, a person below 18 year can only be given a maximum of three years of punishment as well as his identity is forbidden to be published. The juvenile is being tried as a minor on charges including murder and rape.
Having done such a heinous crime, he being a juvenile the gravity of crime committed can’t be diluted and can’t be seen as a mere mistake of a young adult. Having done such a gruesome crime at the very young age, exposes the criminal in him and once he is grown up definitely he would make himself a big criminal.
The Human Rights Activists that he is minor so his crime should be pardoned as he has a future ahead. But he equally deserves gregarious punishment that the other accused men would be rewarded with. Any act that is committed willfully is a crime and the chronological age of the accused should not be the predominant consideration while punishing the accused instead his mental age and the magnitude of the crime itself should be the prime thought.
One’s maturity is judged measuring the gap between his chronological age and mental age. A person is said to be immature when his mental age is very low compared to his chronological age whereas he is said to be mature when his mental age is higher than his chronological age. In the case of the juvenile accused, his mental age would be higher than his chronological age and that is why he is mentally fit to commit such a gruesome crime. At the so-called young age, he is in such a mental disposition to commit gruesome crime which grownup men are not daring to commit. Perhaps, the juvenile should be given double punishment for having done such a heinous act and their raping tool should be chopped off.
No matter whether the offender is juvenile or grown up, if both the parties have committed the same crime both of them deserve to get equal punishment. If age is not a factor in committing the crime it should not be an aspect while rewarding the punishment. Not punishing the juvenile offenders for having committed gruesome crimes would only encourage the juvenile flock to indulge in similar horrid crimes. In the past one decade, rape and abduction of women by juvenile recorded a 143% shoot up. This points to the fact that the country needs strict rules to chock juvenile crimes. The juvenile accused should be treated similarly like grownup man committing the crime. It is bizarre to judge the crime based on the age of the culprit because a crime is always a crime.
Not punishing the accused juvenile would give the deemed license of the remaining juvenile to indulge in such crimes. Exempting the juveniles from the committed sin and rewarding them with lighter punishment would stealthily promote a message that they can indulge in such crime if they wish to.
A man who is ditched by his girlfriend wants to take vengeance on his former girlfriend could easily get a juvenile with a criminal mindset to molest or sexually assaults her thus, the juvenile gets his portion of sexual pleasure as well as money and he would be get only a lighter punishment. Now there is a trend of using juvenile for such crimes.
As there is progression in every sphere of life, there is advancement of crime committed by youngsters. The advent of internet and modern media have exposed juveniles to porn movies, video clips, filthy films, pictures and above all to all possible perverted entertainments. All these keep the juveniles sexually active as well as charged thus, committing the sexual assaults.
In the wake of the alarming rates of juvenile crimes, National Commission for Women demands reducing the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years. As the 18 years of age is milestone to exercise one's franchise, below 18 years of age sounds to be a deemed license to sexually assault women when juvenile being exempted from committed sexual assaults.
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