Ranjana Kumari welcomes SC rejection of reducing juvenile age from 18 to 16

New Delhi, July 17 (ANI): Crusader for womens' rights, Ranjana Kumari, on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to reject a plea to reduce juvenile age from 18 to 16 years.

"I welcome this judgement because there is international norm of 18 years as an adult. So, everybody below that age is juvenile, is young, is child and cannot be treated as an adult. And one case cannot become the exception for changing the whole system of law and also jumping the international norms. So, I think it's very important judgement and we welcome," said Kumari.

"But at the same time, one small amendment that we have been asking for especially after Nirbhaya's case where the 17 and a half year-old took the pretext of being the juvenile and did the most gruesome act. So, to bring such heinous, serious criminals under the act there should be an amendment in which exception should be made looking at the nature of the crime," she added.

The apex court earlier in the day dismissed a plea that minors involved in heinous crimes should not be protected under the law.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Altamash Kabir said that interference in Juvenile Justice Act is not necessary and dismissed a batch of PILs which were filed in the aftermath of the December 16 brutal gang-rape and murder case in which a minor was also allegedly involved.

The horrific assault triggered massive public protests and a debate on whether the age for being considered a juvenile should be brought down to ensure that the minor was tried along with the adult accused.

A batch of PILs was filed in the apex court pleading that the act should be amended and a minor, involved in heinous crimes, should not be protected under the law.

The plea in the apex court was opposed by various child activists, including former Chairman of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) Amod Kanth.

A 23-year-old girl was brutally gang-raped and assaulted in a moving bus on December 16, 2012, allegedly by six persons, one of whom is a minor and is facing proceedings before a Juvenile Justice Board that is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on July 25. (ANI)

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