While we all in lockdown worrying about our health in one part of our country, some children in another are making jokes about the rape and are planning to rape and harass teen girls. One of the boys said in a statement that he does not want his career to be ruined due to some testosterone-driven action. Had this action been from some illiterate kid on social media, then it would have been understandable, but these kids come from Highly Acclaimed schools of New Delhi and influential families.
Various government establishments, including but not limited to Delhi Police, DCW issued notice to the Instagram asking for various details of the children so that they can be tracked and brought to justice. But this incident poses a larger question in front of society, have we failed to teach our children the values taught to us by our father and to them by their fathers? India is a nation of young people and we expect a lot from them.
To fulfil those expectations and empower the children of India, we gave ourself Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 which consolidated all the different acts made earlier to protect the rights of children and save them from any kind of exploitation and harassment. Article 15 (3) of the constitution of India empowers the government to make rules and regulations for the protection of children and women even if they are found discriminatory against any individual based on religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. Clauses (e) and (f) of Article 39, article 45 and article 47 of the Directive Principles of State Policy imposed a duty on the State to ensure that all the needs of children are met and that their basic human rights are fully protected. India is also a signatory of the Beijing Rules, 1985, the UN Convention on Child Rights, 1992 and The Hague Convention, 1993.
All these conventions and regulations have made judiciary and lawmakers blind towards the heinous crimes committed by juveniles. These crimes include, but not limited to rape, cold-blooded murders, criminal conspiracy to assault men and women. One such case was Nirbhaya case where the one boy was juvenile when he committed such heinous crime, but was let free by the Judiciary. Then there is another side, yesterday a juvenile committed suicide because of the fear of taunt and judgmental views of the public. And there are many like this. It is high time that we reform the Juvenile Justice Act and make it more powerful and protective of Innocent Juveniles.
Following are some recommendations which I have made after studying various Juvenile Justice Systems of World.
1) The identity of Juveniles must be kept confidential and anyone violating the confidentiality clause shall be punished with hefty fines including juveniles.
2) Juveniles (above 15), when proven guilty of heinous crimes, shall be punished as adults.
3) Reformation of safe houses and juvenile care centres and providing ample opportunities for development and security as there have been multiple cases when Juveniles have been harassed in care centres.
4) Deep psychological analysis of the Juveniles involved in heinous crimes to understand their mental conditions before, during and after they committed the crime. This could help deal with society at large and parents can be educated on how to take good care of their children.
5) A carefully drafted syllabus of the children below 15 years of age to inculcate values among them to be a better person and community counselling of parents shall be made available everywhere keeping in mind available resources
6) Strong regulations shall be brought to keep in check the porn websites and other websites providing adult content as their checking method is completely useless as it lays the full responsibility on the user and the shadowban of the porn websites is not working. Various porn websites are still openly available to consume their content and VPNs have mastered in providing temporary IP Address to everyone without any validation.
There is always a lot of grey area in between black and white in this case there are many shades of grey, which we need to decode and keep in check to keep the future of our future safe and sound. And we take strong objection to the fear-mongering by social media users, which might also have added to the pressure to which the boy succumbed and committed suicide.