The Supreme Court has described a juvenile law that prescribes “admonition” and “group counselling” as punishment for even grave and heinous offences as “far too liberal.”
Accepting that juvenile offenders require the protection of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U.U. Lalit, however, said law must “satisfy the desire of society” and prescribe a punishment befitting the gravity of the crime.
“In a population of 1,000, one per cent may be juveniles who commit rape and murder. But even this one per cent can be a menace. So should we go by the gravity of the crime or the percentage of juvenile population that may commit these heinous crimes?” Justice Misra asked on Thursday.
“Now there are so many multi-cultural facets – internet, ambition. Unlike the 60s and 70s where boys used to assault each other in a school ground, times have changed. Brutal murders happen,” Justice Misra said.
The Bench asked Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi to suggest to the government to take a relook at the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 .