New Delhi, 6 Aug-2014: In a major decision the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved lowering of age of juveniles from eighteen to sixteen years.
The proposal will empower Juvenile Justice Board to decide on whether a juvenile above 16 years involved in heinous crimes such as rape is to be sent to a observation home or tried in a regular court.
However, according to the bill, in no case the juvenile involved in a heinous crime will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment either when tried under the provisions of JJ Act or under the provisions of IPC.
The proposed amendments also included facilitating faster adoption of children and setting up foster care homes.
The WCD Ministry intends to make the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) the statutory body, which means it will have powers to regulate inter-country adoptions along with issuing guidelines on adoption and related matter.
The amended act will now be sent to Parliament for approval.
With all Central ministries giving their approval to amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, it was placed on the agenda for today’s Cabinet meeting.
The changes in the law come against the backdrop of outrage over the conviction of a minor in the Delhi gang-rape case of December, 2012.
He was tried in a juvenile court last year and sentenced to three years in a reform home.
His lighter punishment had triggered a debate on punishment for juveniles convicted of heinous crimes.
With PTI inputs