Juvenile justice law issues need to be addressed, says CJI Kabir
New Delhi: Expressing concern over ‘knee-jerk reaction’ in the Delhi gang-rape case in which popular opinion of the people are demanding death penalty for even the juvenile accused, Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir stated that ‘one incident shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish views on all children and good sense should be allowed to prevail’. The country’s apex judge comments come at a time when there is groundswell of public sentiment to reduce the age of juvenile in law from present 18 years to 16 years in wake of increased involvement of juveniles accused in gender-related crime cases.
Admonishing the ‘knee-jerk reaction’ and ‘baying for blood’ phenomenon which were prominently witnessed in form of thousands taking to streets to demand death for Delhi-gangrape accused, CJI said that justice should be allowed to prevail based on evidence and concrete facts rather than speculation.
However, Kabir did admit that age of criminal responsibility and administration of juvenile justice law were issues that had to be addressed. Kabir’s comments suggested tacit approval in the issue.
The event also witnessed participation of UNICEF representative Louis Georges Arsenault, who proposed that India should take a leaf out of the book of fellow BRICS nations like South Africa and Brazil which had successfully modified their juvenile justice laws.
CJI Kabir also admonished India Gate rape protests, calling it \'knee-jerk\' reaction.