The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill, which allows juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults for serious crimes like rape or murder.
The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill in May.
At present, those under 18 can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reform facility.
The move to change the law had gained momentum after the youngest convict in the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape was recently released from detention. His release had caused widespread protests leading to a fresh debate over the existing law on trying juvenile offenders of heinous crime.
The parents of the victim were among those campaigning to change the law.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Rajya Sabha witnessed a long debate on this bill before passing it in the evening
Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad has started speaking. Here are the highlights of his speech.
- Parliamentary Affairs Minister is a good man, but he shouldn’t take ‘panga’
- India has developed, but come incidents like Nirbhaya shame us abroad
- JJ Bill was first brought in 1986 when Rajiv Gandhi was PM
- The minimum age was kept 16, but the NDA govt changed to 18
- More than 50 % rapes have juvenile as offenders
- There should be separate accommodation for juvenile rapists in jail
- Juvenile Board needs to be broadened to accommodate more people
- Juvenile rapists should be provided formal and vocational training in jail
- Police patrolling in big cities should be increased; Streets should be properly lit, it will act as deterrent
SP’s Ravi Prakash Verma
- Strong law against juveniles won’t work
- aap ki niyat mein khot hai (you have flaws in your intention)
Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress
- It’s not ideal bill, but a good bill. But let’s not wait for ideal bill
- I have 20 year old daughter, God forbid if on 16 December it was she instead of Nirbhaya
- What would I have done? I would have probably taken a gun and shot the rapist
- Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rationalising violent act
- If our children are becoming criminals, you and I are responsible
Maneka Gandhi, BJP
- Bill can’t get more nuanced
- We have to decide whether we want to protect the victim or the rapist