Under attack, the Women and Child Development Ministry on Thursday clarified that the Juvenile Justice Board will remain the appellant authority for cases of juveniles involved in heinous crimes like murder and rape and ruled out death penalty or life imprisonment to minors convicted of such crimes.
The ministry, which was criticised for its reported proposal that juveniles above 16 years involved in heinous crimes like murder and rape should be tried as adults, said even the decision that whether the convicted juvenile should be tried as adult will also be taken by the Board.
In this regard a proposal seeking an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act has been finalised and sent to the Law and Home Ministries, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath told reporters here.
"Even when treated under the Indian Penal Code, according to a provision in the amendment, they will not be awarded capital punishment and life imprisonment as India is a signatory of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)," she said.
Juveniles between 16-18 years convicted of heinous crimes like murder, acid attack, rape and gangrape will be treated on par with adult offenders only if the Juvenile Justice Board recommends so after checking the juveniles socio-economic background, psychological condition and other related parameters, she said.
Tirath said that she is hopeful about the amendment being tabled and passed in the winter session of the Parliament.
The sections mentioned in the proposal include 302 (murder), 326 A (Acid attack), 376 (rape), 376 A (causing death or a persistent vegetative state of the victim by committing rape, 376 D (gangrape).
She further said the amendment seeks that repeated offenders involved in crimes like robbery and kidnapping can also face punishment under the IPC if the JJ Board recommends so after examining all aspects and parameters of the juveniles and the crime.