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Crimes committed by minors up by 50% in 10 years: Govt

The government has noted an alarming rise in crimes committed by juveniles. “An increase of more than 50 per cent has been reported in cognisable cases involving juveniles in the last 10 years,” MoS for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

He said: “As per data collected from states and union territories, an increase of 50.6 per cent – from 25,601 cases in 2005 to 38,586 in 2014 – in cases under total cognisable crimes registered against juvenile in conflict with law.” 

The cases have been registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Special and Local Laws, he said.

Chaudhary said the issue of crimes committed by juveniles is mainly dealt under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, which provides for reformative care in case of minors. “The Ministry of Women and Child Development is also implementing a centrally-sponsored scheme, Integrated Child Protection Scheme, for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in difficult circumstances,” he said.

The issue regarding crimes committed by juveniles is being highlighted after the gruesome Nirbhaya gang-rape in December 2012, and also the issue on the release of the juvenile accused in the case. His expected release (anytime soon now) has kick-started a raging controversy.

On Tuesday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued conditional summons to the Delhi Chief Secretary, Police Commissioner and the Union Home Secretary, following their “failure” to produce reports on the release of juvenile convict in the gang-rape case. 

The Commission had issued a notice to these authorities on November 20, giving them two weeks’ time to respond after taking cognizance of the “fears expressed” by the victim’s parents. The NHRC has now asked the city and state authorities to submit the same by the December 21 or personally appear before it.

Nirbhaya’s parents had requested the Commission to recommend to the government to prepare a plan to protect citizens from such delinquent juveniles post their release and also to strengthen the laws on the subject. 

After this, the Commission had asked the Delhi chief secretary to apprise it of any pre-release or post-release plan prepared for the juvenile and also sought information as to whether he has been recently subjected to “ psychological or psychiatric assessment.”

The NHRC has asked the Union Home Secretary if it had taken any action based on the representation submitted by the victim’s parents to the Home Minister. The Commission had observed that “there is no doubt that the complainants have undergone extreme agony and pain after the incident of rape and murder of their daughter. The fears expressed by them need to be looked into.”
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