Skip to Content

Why should the 17-yr old rapist be allowed to get away lightly?

240 users have liked.

While the cacophony for the death sentence for the accused grows louder, most of us ignore the fact that the main accused in this crime is a juvenile. Forget about the death penalty, he cannot be jailed in a regular prison even for a day. Nor can he be tried in a regular court of law. This case should provoke a rethinking about our juvenile justice laws.

A century ago, US policy makers decided to divert juvenile offenders from punishment in criminal courts and shifted the focus to rehabilitation. Faced with public protests due to an alarming rise in juvenile offences, policy makers there in the past three decades have lowered the age of judicial waiver and enacted mandatory minimum sentences for juveniles in certain violent offences.

In India, no offender less than 18 years can be sent to jail because, howsoever ghastly the crime, it's presumed he is unaware of the consequences of his action. Surprisingly, the same people lowered the age of voting to 18 years and driving to 16 years on the grounds that a citizen at this age is matured to elect their representatives as well as drive safely on the roads.

In 2009, 844 murders, 603 attempt to murder and 798 rapes were committed by juveniles in India. While the country debates imposition of death sentence for the offence of rape, it's worthwhile to debate segregation of violent crime from ordinary ones for invoking juvenile justice law.

For the full text of the (personal) views of Mr Praveen Sood, IPS, ADGP (police computing wing), published in the ToI, click here.

When children are seen to be maturing faster in today's world (though, some the wrong way), and, in consonance with the same, the age for eligibility for driving licence has been lowered to 16, shouldn't they simultaneously be subjected to stricter criminal laws too, even if they be in the rarest of rare cases (where the present Delhi case fully fits in)? Perhaps, time for the Civil Society to pursue the matter jointly.

Muralidhar Rao


murali772's picture

the juvenile brute

110 users have liked.

The sixth accused — alleged to be the most brutal of the lot — has been left out of the chargesheet. According to some reports, he will attain majority in five months.

Under the present law, the juvenile could be free in a few months, even if he gets the maximum three-year sentence. If he is held guilty after turning 18, he can't be kept in a correction home. But a juvenile who has turned 18 can't be transferred to jail since the law does not allow those tried under the Juvenile Justice Act to be kept in a jail meant for adults.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

It will be a total travesty of justice if this monster gets away lightly.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

gravity of offence has to have its weightage

127 users have liked.

In response to my posting a link to this blog on Y-group, a friend commented as below:

A little while ago in the US, there was a case where there was a group of 2 or 3 juveniles who were going to turn adult at midnight. They went out oon was n a murderous orgy just the night before including tying a concrete block to the legs of an old man and pitching him into a river -- just for fun.

The entire idea was to enjoy the experience of murdering a bunch of people knowing that they would be out in 2 to 3 years. They deliberately finished their killing orgy at 11.30 , a half hour before their juvenile status ended.

I think juvenile status should be evaluated on a sliding scale with age and gravity of offence weighed carefully. The so-called Juvenile rapist is juvenile only technically --- as I understand the news reports, he is 4 months away from turning 18 -- in my opinion, the judge should do some simple rounding off math and declare him old enough to execute.

The problem is; we have so many travesties of justice.

Do people know that before Kasab, the last execution was in 2004, before this was Auto Shankar in 1997 or 1995. We seem to execute one person every decade. We also seem to have a Supreme Court that thinks 8 years jail is enough for murder committed during the course of a robbery.

The take away apparently is the line I have marked in bold.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

another dire need

98 users have liked.

Additional public prosecutor Richa Kapoor said the SC should be requested to consider if courts are competent to weigh the conduct of the accused and brutality of their crime, and not just go by medical evidence "which is not conclusive and varies according to region, diet, race etc and hence isn't conclusive proof".

Kapoor said if the offence indicates "evil and well-planned design" displaying the "matured skill" of a criminal, then the "so-called child as per medical age" should not be held to be a juvenile. She questioned why an accused who raped and killed a minor should be protected as a juvenile.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

Yes, Madame - it's indeed a dire need.

Muralidhar Rao comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

about seo | blog