गुरुवार, 15 अक्टूबर 2009

92. Age in view of amendments in Juvenile Justice Act

In Hari Ram vs State of Rajasthan and Another the SUPREME COURT on 05 th May 2009 evaluated the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, ss.2(k), 2(l), 7A, 15, 20, 49 and 64 (Provisions as stood amended vide amendment Act, 2006) - Juvenile Justice Rules, 2007, rr. 12 and 98 . the question was: could a person who was not a juvenile within the meaning of the 1986 Act when the offence was committed, but had not completed 18 years, be governed by the provisions of the JJ Act, 2000, and be declared as a juvenile in relation to the offence alleged to have been committed by him? The Supreme Court answered in positive on conjoint reading of ss. 2(k), 2(l), 7A, 20 and 49 r/w rr. 12 and 98 of Rules, 2007 .The court held that Scheme is rehabilitatory in nature and not adversarial. the court imphasised upon requirement of complete change of mind set for implementing the said law. It was held that two main questions on the subject on which controversy at hand depends, is at rest now; first question was settled in 'Pratap Singh vs. State of Jharkhand & Another [(2005) 3 SCC 551]' after which amendment was brought in 2006 in JJ Act 2000, second question was also settled therein but is now overruled vide such amendment; firstly, juvenility of a person in conflict with law has to be reckoned from the date of the incident and not from the date on which cognizance was taken by the Magistrate, secondly, provisions of JJ Act, 2000 were also made applicable to juveniles who had not completed eighteen years of age on the date of commission of offence. Thus all persons who were below the age of 18 years on the date of commission of the offence even prior to 1st April, 2001(commencement date of JJ Act, 2000), would be treated as juveniles, even if the claim of juvenility was raised after they had attained the age of 18 years on or before the date of commencement of the Act and were undergoing sentence upon being convicted. such position stands re-emphasised by virtue of amendments introduced in s. 20, by inserting proviso and explanation.

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