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After Nirbhaya's ordeal, changes to India's juvenile law in talks

By Can Tran     Jan 6, 2013 in World
New Delhi - While six men, including a minor, perpetrated the gang-rape of "Nirbhaya," the ordeal and death of the victim has brought up the call for amending India's Juvenile Justice Act.
Six males have been accused of the very horrific gang rape in India of a 23-year-old female medical student. Back in late-December, the victim who was nicknamed “Nirbhaya,” died from her injuries turned the case into a murder case. While there are six accused, five of them are being charged with murder. This is due to one of them being a juvenile. That assailant will not be facing the death penalty; instead, that person will be tried by India's Juvenile Justice Board. Should one be convicted under the Juvenile Justice Board, that person is set to a juvenile home for a period of three years. Because of the horrific and beyond inhumane ordeal that Nirbhaya has gone through, especially with the metal rod and damage done to her organs, there are talks to make amendments to India's juvenile law.
The Hindustan Times reports that India's Women & Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath that the country's Juvenile Justice Act will be amended. In respects to the JJ Act, under this amendment, those over 15 years old will be charged as adults if they are charged in sex crimes. Under this amendment, minors over 15 will be treated as an adult and will be handed the same punishments as adults in a regular court of law. It is reported that child rights groups are opposing this amendment.
A blog on Reuters talks about that due to the current JJ Act would let an accused rapist off the hook for being a minor. The possibility of that has sparked anger of many activists and other people. Still, there are plenty of people still opposing the notion of amending India's JJ Act. According to opponents of the amendment, the rights of many children would be taken away in the process.
In the case of juveniles committing such acts of violence let alone what happened to Nirbhaya, people are divided about the JJ Act. A Times of India article reports on the amendments to the JJ Act. For the most part, the one juvenile assailant will probably be the only one that walks away almost unscathed. Again, due to the nature of Nirbhaya's gang rape, it brings up the concept of amending the JJ Act. While the juvenile assailant could face a few years in a juvenile home if convicted, the article says that an anomaly in the law would mean he could get out in a few months.
The case of amending the JJ Act brings up a new dynamic and conundrum when it comes to reforming India's laws when it comes to sexual violence.
More about juvenile law, nirbhaya, ananat, Delhi, New delhi
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