Follow Us:

Sushma wants juvenile Act amended

Statesman News Service |

statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 31 AUG: Disagreeing with the three years punishment given today to the juvenile accused in the 16 December 2012 gangrape-and-murder of a Delhi student, which is the maximum under the juvenile law, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj today made a pitch for amending the Juvenile Justice Act to “provide that the sentence must be commensurate with the nature and gravity of the offence”.
In a series of posts on Twitter tonight, Mrs Swaraj said : “The most cruel of them all (accused) has been let off with just three years sentence in the name of a juvenile …. The meagre punishment of just three years does not do justice to Damini (pseudonym of the victim girl).” 
The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha tweeted: “The sentence must commensurate with the gravity of the offence irrespective of the age of the offender.”
Noting that the present juvenile law “does not provide for this”, Mrs Swaraj said she will be moving a private member&’s Bill in the House, which might come up on 6 September, the last day of the current monsoon session.  
Earlier in the day, the family of the rape victim had rejected the Juvenile Justice Board&’s judgment sentencing the juvenile accused to three years of imprisonment in a probation home ~ the maximum under the Juvenile Justice Act. They have demanded that the juvenile be hanged for his role in the heinous crime.
The ruling Congress refrained from commenting on the quantum of punishment given to the juvenile accused who was under 18 years when the brutal crime was committed by him and five others.
The Congress national spokesman, Mr Meem Afzal, empathised with the family of the victim. “The maximum punishment under the juvenile law has been given to the juvenile accused. However, we understand that this would not satisfy the victim&’s family,” Mr Afzal said, hoping the other four accused (one has committed suicide in the meantime) would get stringent punishment.
On being asked whether the juvenile law should be amended to lower the age of a juvenile so as not to let a juvenile go scot free after committing heinous crimes on the ground that he had not reached 18 years of age, the Congress spokesman said: “This is a very complex and serious issue in which many people have strong, conflicting views. It needs further debate which will take time. But, laws are not changed on the basis of individual cases.” 
Referring to this first conviction in the 16 December Delhi gangrape-and-murder case Mr Afzal said: “Police and the court worked expeditiously in the case that resulted in a fast verdict today.”