The Juvenile Justice Bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha today. It implements lowering the age at which youths can be put on trial for criminal offences following the 2012 fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus by five adults and a minor.
Source: PTIIt was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote after a walkout by Left parties which wanted it to be sent to a Select Committee.
The bill was passed by Lok Sabha earlier. Replying to the debate on the bill, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi said the legislation was a "nuanced" one and was much needed to act as a "deterrent".
She said the incidents of heinous crimes by juveniles of the age of 16 years and above were on the rise and cited statistics to support her contention. Allaying concerns expressed by members about the implications of the proposed legislation, Gandhi said it was "not against children but rather provides for, protects, nurtures and keeps them safe."
While CPI(M) members led by Sitaram Yechury staged a walkout demanding that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee, most of the other parties including Congress welcomed the passing of the legislation.
Parents of the victim have said that the convict could escape after spending three years in a correction home only because the law is weak.