The judgment against the juvenile in the Nirbhaya rape case has come under severe criticism (“Balancing the juvenile act,” Sept. 9). Those who feel the offender has been let off lightly are indifferent towards juveniles who are victims of inequity and deprivation. The circumstances which drive these vulnerable children to be in conflict with law are something we as a society need to review. A hostile attitude will not help to provide an enabling space for rehabilitation and mainstreaming of juvenile offenders.
Children now have easy accessibility to adult material on the Internet. But their natural process of achieving physical and mental maturity remains the same. Thus, the situation of the juveniles, especially those involved in crimes related to sex, is pathetic. The need of the hour is to redefine the rehabilitation process with more focus on sex education and related counselling.
But in cases where brutality is involved, a different perspective is needed. The brutality itself is evidence of extreme aggression, hatred and contempt for personal dignity. Such juveniles are incorrigible; they should be treated as adults.
Premjee Kumar Barnwal,
Treating one of the culprits in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case as an immature boy is unacceptable. He deserves the maximum punishment under the law. Now is the right time to revisit the Juvenile Justice Act.
If developed democracies like the U.S. and the U.K. can try juvenile offenders on the basis of the gravity of the crimes they commit, why should we not do the same?
P. Muhammed Rafi,
The fact that there is a staggering increase in the instances of rape by juveniles shows that society is not conducive for children to grow in a healthy manner and stay away from crimes. It is a wake-up call for our policymakers and society at large to educate children to keep them away from heinous crimes.
We should not take the West as a model to amend our laws on all issues. The number of juvenile offenders is much more in the U.S. It is a bad example to follow.