Hyderabad: Nalsar vice chancellor Prof. Faizan Mustafa has strongly opposed a legislation that proposes to bring down the age of juveniles from 18 to 16, stating that if it is passed, the country will have more adult criminals in the future.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014, was introduced by Maneka Gandhi, Union minister for women and child welfare, in the Lok Sabha.
“If the bill is made into law, teenagers of 17 and 18 will be tried in the regular court, and will be sent to prison, which is dangerous,” said the VC.
“The Bill is being moved in haste and false information about considerable increase in the number of children involved in crime has been propagated.
In fact, children commit only 1.2 per cent of crimes in the country. We are copying the idea from the United States where 13 per cent of the total crime is committed by children.
However, the US is now revising the law and increasing the age limit since it was a total failure in the last 30 years,” said Prof. Mustafa.
Former chairperson of Delhi Judicial Academy Prof. J. Ved Kumari, an expert on juvenile delinquency cases, said the new Bill was full of contradictions and flaws.
She said the Bill would undermine the very purpose of reforming criminals.
“No country has ever succeeded in reforming minors by transferring them to an adult system. The fundamentals of keeping a child from any wrong doing is by ensuring a safe distance from bad company.
By sending a child to jail, you would only ensure his company with hardened criminals, and he might become a criminal in the future. They should not be punished by sending them to the general prison, but they should be reformed.”