“Even though the ancient scriptures like the Ramayana depict that India was a leader in juvenile jurisprudence, we could not carry forward this legacy in modern times,” lamented Haryana's Inspector-General (Prisons) K. P. Singh here on Thursday.

Delivering a special lecture on ‘Juvenile justice: A saga of negligence and apathy' organised by the Centre for Police Administration at Panjab University, he said juvenile justice came back into prominence with the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 which was later revised and re-enacted in 2000 to accommodate international developments in this area.

Dr. Singh said there is a “huge gap between the theory and practice as the criminal justice machinery had not been properly sensitised about the contents of the Act”.

“The police are applying the provisions of CrPC uniformly to both juveniles as well as adults, which is illegal,” he said.