The court asked the government to take action, and convince legislators to change the law and make juveniles accountable.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to re-visit the law so that a juvenile cannot get away with rape and murder by claiming he is too young to understand the consequences of his crime.
In a written order, a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant observed it can no longer shut its eyes to the danger posed to society by juveniles accused of heinous crimes like rape, dacoity, murder and drug-peddling.
The order comes even as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi showed “grave concern” and admitted to an increase in such crimes by juveniles.
‘Make them pay’
Instead, the court asked the government to take action, and convince legislators to change the law and make juveniles accountable.
“There can be a situation where a commission of an offence may be totally innocuous or emerging from a circumstance where a young boy is not aware of the consequences. But in cases of rape, dacoity, murder, which are heinous crimes, it is extremely difficult to conceive that the juvenile was not aware of the consequences,” Justice Misra wrote in his order.
The court was hearing a plea by a murder accused, who claimed that he was less than 18 years old at the time of the alleged crime in May 2000.
The order records Mr. Rohatgi’s statement that the rate at which juveniles are being involved in heinous crimes “has actually become a matter of grave concern” for the government.