Even if a juvenile is convicted, there is no humiliation concerning any crime committed by such person as a juvenile: SC

-Ritika Singh

BACKGROUND

Juvenile law in India:

A Minor who is accused is known as a Juvenile.

According to the Juvenile Justice Board when a child alleged to conflict with law is apprehended by the police, he/she will be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police or the designated child welfare police officer, who shall produce the child before the Juvenile Justice Board.

An inquiry may satisfy a Board that a child, irrespective of age, has committed a petty offence, or a serious offence, or a child below the age of 16 has committed a heinous offence. In such a case, it may:

Allow the child to go home after advice or admonition.

Direct the child to participate in group counselling and similar activities.

Order the child to perform community service.

Order the child, or parents of the child, to pay a fine.

Release the child on probation of good conduct.

Direct the child to a special home for a period not exceeding three years.

In case of a heinous offence by a child above the age of 16, the Board may say that there is a need for prosecution of the child as an adult. No child in conflict with the law shall receive a death or life imprisonment penalty without the possibility of release.

CURRENT SITUATION

A minor named Ramesh Bishnoi was charged under section 354, 447 and 509 of IPC, he got acquitted as no evidence was presented by the girl and her parents.

After clearing the recruitment to the post of Sub-Inspector in the Central Industrial Security Force (CSF’). The committee rejected the appointment in CISF on the ground that a criminal case has been lodged against him in the past. The findings of the committee were challenged in the High Court and the High Court directed the committee to consider the appointment.

READ ALSO: LAW FOR JUVENILE : IS IT REALLY ABSOLUTE?

While evaluating the plea filed by the Union of India, the bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran noted that the accusations were never proved against him. It said:

Even if the allegations were found to be true, then too the respondent could not have been deprived of getting a job based on such charges as the same had been committed while the respondent was juvenile. The thrust of the legislation, i.e. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 as well as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is that even if a juvenile is convicted, the same should be obliterated, so that there is no stigma with regard to any crime committed by such person as a juvenile. This is with the clear objective to reintegrate such juvenile back in the society as a normal person, without any stigma.

Section 3 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 lays down guidelines for the Central Government, State Governments, the Board and other agencies while implementing the provisions of the said Act.

Referring to clause (xiv) of Section 3 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, the bench said:

READ ALSO: POWER OF JUVENILE JUSTICE BOARD TO DECLARE AN OFFENCE HEINOUS

“Even if juvenile had been convicted, the same could not have been held against him for getting a job, as admittedly he was a minor when the alleged offences were committed and the charges had been framed against him. Section 3(xiv) provides for the same and the exception of special circumstances does not apply to the facts of the present case.

QUESTION OF LAW

The question that arises here is, as we have witnessed the dreadful crime by minor in the ‘Nirbhaya Gang rape case’ should the Juvenile be really should not be deprived of jobs even after being guilty. A minor maybe not fully mentally developed but if a minor commits a heinous crime like rape, shouldn’t he/she be punished accordingly.

READ ALSO: ALLEGED DETENTION OF MINORS IN KASHMIR- SC ASKS REPORT

The second query upon which we must discuss is false accusations and the consequences faced by the innocent. Shouldn’t the people falsely accusing be charged with fine so that the innocent get justice?

CONCLUSION

A guilty mind should never flourish. A crime is a crime and the punishment must be in a way so that it acts for the greater good of the society. An underdeveloped mind is under a greater chance of getting misappropriated therefore rehabilitation centres and other organizations dealing with minors protection and care must help the Juvenile to find the right path of morality.

READ ALSO: POCSO COURT ACQUITS ACCUSED IN WALAYAR RAPE-DEATH CASE