Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill passed to ‘appease the mob,’ says Justice Katju

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Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju has described the passing of Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha as an exercise to ‘appease the mob.’

In his blog, Justice Katju wrote, ” It has appeased the mob, like the Moscow Governor Rostopchin appeasing the mob during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, depicted in Tolstoy’s ‘ War and Peace ‘, or like the mob in Shakespeare’s ‘ Julius Caesar ‘ which hanged Cinna the poet for his alleged bad verses, only because he had the same name as Cinna the conspirator.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court had rejected the DCW’s plea against the release of the juvenile convict of 16 December gangrape case. This had sparked off a widespread debate across the country with questions being asked if the current laws against the juvenile offenders of heinous crimes was robust.

The JJA Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in May this year. But, Justice Katju says that the current amendment will not help the parents of Jyoti Singh, who was brutally gangraped in December in 2012.

He said, “Even amendment of the law by Parliament cannot affect the present case, as under our Constitution a criminal law cannot be amended retrospectively vide Article 20(1) which says :
‘No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.'”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Real question is if increasing punishment will prevent the crime of rape. Please consider, a crime take place 1st then comes the investigation then judicial process then comes punishment. Punishment can be rewarded only if crime happens, investigation proper, court satisfied of guilty, then it pronounce Sentence/ punishment. The need is to prevent a person not commit a crime(rape). At present in case of crime like rape out 10 only 1 is reported to police; after going through the process of investigation, judicial, conviction happen in only 10% cases, that .1 of total rapes happen in country. So the need is to avoid this situation, which will not helped by just increasing punishment, but need some other measures at social, religious, political levels that attitude of society, which condemn victim more then the culprit, creat pressure not to report, culprit getting support from his family members, friends including women, which create a helping attitude toward him. Until this is done by politician Society & religious leader, there will be no respite from this crime.

  2. If you ask a rape victim what punishment would he or she or her parents prescribe for the culrpit , inevitably the answer would be “death to the culprit”, while juvenil defendants, and some human rights activists who have not suffered similar fate would speak of a senseless moral highground of rehabilitation. Let the masses decide who would tolerate his sister, mother , daughter being raped and murdered.A Crime like rape can be prevented only if there is a strong deterrent in place and nothing is better than fear of death by hanging, which a rapist deserves more. Rape is a heinous crime and should not be distinguished between juveniles and adults. Hang one and the rest will fall in line. Just a food for thought, is rape as rampant in Saudi Arabia as its in delhi.

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