The Supreme Court on 30 March 2014 uphold the age of juvenile to 18 years. SC cited that the legislature has fixed the age which is constitutionally permissible.
Two petitions were filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy challenging the constitutional validity of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
The petitioners had sought fresh interpretation of the term ‘juvenile’ in the statute and leaving it to the criminal court, instead of Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), to determine the juvenility of an offender in heinous crimes.
Under the Chief Justice P Sathasivam, a Bench was formed comprising of three judges. The bench had rejected the petitions and upheld the constitutionality of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
In the judgement, the bench opined that the Union legislature has adopted the age of 18 as the dividing line between juveniles and adults and such a decision is constitutionally permissible and all persons below the age of 18 are put in one class/group by the JJ Act to provide a separate scheme of investigation, trial and punishment for offences committed by them.
As per the Supreme Court, the object of the JJ Act was to rehabilitate the offenders of under 18 years, so that they could become useful members of the society later on.
About Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 is the primary legal framework for juvenile justice in India. The Act provides for a special approach towards the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency and provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children in the purview of the juvenile justice system.
About Beijing Rules
In September 1980 the United Nations held its Sixth Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in Caracas, Venezuela. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, often referred to as the Beijing Rules was adopted.
It is a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the treatment of juvenile prisoners and offenders in member nations.
About United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention and opened it for signature on 20 November 1989.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (commonly abbreviated as the CRC, CROC, or UNCRC) is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.