SC to examine provision on minors' age in juvenile act

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 04, 2013 14:50 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court will look into the constitutional validity of provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act under which a person is treated as a minor till he or she turns 18.

While deciding to look into the constitutional validity of the definition of "juvenile" in the act, the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to the central government on a petition that has sought the legally defined age of "minor" to be lowered from existing 18 years to 16 years.

The petition filed by advocates Sukumar and Kamal Kumar Pandey sought the apex court declare that certain provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, were in violation of the fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 (equality and liberty) of the constitution.

The issues raised in the petition assume significance in the wake of a minor's alleged involvement in the brutal gang-rape and torture of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi Dec 16, 2012.

Taking up the matter for hearing, the court asked Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati whether the age under the Juvenile Justice Act has any nexus with the gravity of the crime committed by the offender and whether the provisions of the act were not in conflict with the Articles 14 and 21 of the constitution.

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