A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the > constitutional validity of the new law passed by Parliament allowing suspects aged 16 years of age and above to be tried as adults if they commit heinous offences such as rape and murder.
The petition filed by activist Tahseen Poonawalla contends that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is arbitrary and in violation of the fundamental right of right to equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution.
The petition sought the court to judicially review Section 15 of the 2015 Act which provides an option for a juvenile offender aged above 16 to be tried as an adult if the Juvenile Justice Board gives its consent on a preliminary inquiry.
It said the Act focussed on punishment of juveniles rather than the stated constitutional objective of all juvenile laws, which is care and protection. The statute further violates the letter and spirit of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.