It is the irony of criminal justice system that eradication of crime is mostly seen through the way of criminals’ punishment. But logically both are very different concept. Hitherto across the globe by punishing a criminal of particular offence no one is able to eradicate that crime. Again going through same process of making more and more rigid law won’t provide us any solution. Eradication of something needs that to put out from the root and sources.
Recent changes in juvenile act are the same process of making the punishment more and more rigid. Courts have been given the arbitrary power of treating an offender as Juvenile or as an Adult in some heinous crimes is the major concern to be dealt with through this paper. Would the amendment in the age criteria of juvenile offender of heinous crimes make any significant change in monitoring the crime? Or is there need of amendments in other factors to control the crimes? Amending laws out of public outrage is the worst form of dealing with the crime as public opinion in most of cases is based on emotional factors and imprecise knowledge.
Crime must be uprooted from its source and laws must be for rehabilitation of criminals not as a weapon of revenge. And for uprooting crime factors of society and economics would play a vital role than amending the laws.
Key Words: Juvenile, Age, Criminal, Law
It is modern sciences and arts that corrupt human morality and nature.
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau in A Discourse on Moral Effects of Sciences and Arts
It can be perceived in almost all varieties of societies that there are firm crimes that not only disrupt and annoy the social order however also bring destruction to human beings to excessive amount. Crimes are mostly breaches that are considered damaging for not only the target of the crime and criminal but for the society as a whole. There are different species of crimes in societies like theft, rape, murder etc. All the civilisations agree that crimes are very much treacherous and they have been determined to control them but they have not been able to limit them completely.
In recent times, of course after 2012, major amendments in criminal laws have been spotted and with the radical change in the Juvenile Justice Act. After a huge outcry by the public and we can say public pressure our legislature repealed the previous law to make some space for the new law, the modified one. Most of the time it is utilization of things which tell about the defects and experiments which provide the outcome whether that particular thing needs further modification or not as in case of scientific inventions. After all need to pass or amend a particular law in only felt after the situation arises.
But here major Concern is not the experiment or utilization of law but concern is about what our laws and amendments are up to. As earlier mentioned just after infamous Delhi gang rape case and huge out and cry by the public a whole law has been re-enacted. Was that necessary? Some amendments mentioned below have been given space in the new law. Where in some heinous crimes Juveniles above sixteen years of age might be treated as adults with power lying with juvenile justice board to ascertain.
Major Amendments in Juvenile Justice Board
Majorly, the minor blamed of age more than sixteen should show before the Juvenile Justice Board and then the Board will choose whether to refer the Juvenile for trial as an adult or to send a blamed to the reformative and rehabilitation center. This technique is adjudicated on the psychological and corporeal ability of the child.
Next, the act of juvenile justice treats a minor of age sixteen-eighteen years as an adult if he has committed any heinous crime in a conflict of the law. Minor who have committed a serious crime may be tried as an adult only if he is detained after the time of twenty-one years of age.
Most of the time our legislature keep trying on luring the public for the votes and going out of the way make promises with the public to get some specific law passed through the parliament. Not so in all cases but yes this do happen and without going in the exact socio economic issues only rigid and rigid laws is being given the space. We have to choose whether we are behind the crime or criminals. We have to choose what we actually want to eradicate. Punishment till now has not uprooted any crime. We have to look beyond amending the punishment laws.
There are heaps of explanations involved behind why a person tends to commit crime. Most of the philosophy points out that there are two kinds of people on this world: one who does good and other who does bad and Bad is necessary to be punished. Some other philosophical theories point out to born criminals. These theories tell that some people are genetically criminals and nothing can cure them and punishment is the only way. Our justice system is also revolving around these theories where we talk only about punishment.
Nevertheless, these kind of theoretical mindset are negligence nothing else on our part about our own society and social structure. But instead crime is some diseases which need to be cured by rehabilitation, by reformative measures. Recent Amendments in Juvenile Act regarding the heinous crime is need to be think upon by taking under notice what will be the future of that young person who has to underdo such a severe curtailment from society who has not yet come to know the real face of society out of his adolescent period.
A new born baby knows nothing about the society. He reflects what he gains from here from society, from family, from friends, from his surroundings. Dialectical Materialism points out that our knowledge is based on the matter and then after the formation of some knowledge the modification of the matter tales place. So first we come to know about something only then we can reflect. A newly born baby left in the jungle alone won’t carry out any crime as the theory suggests. Basically crime has remained the part of human society since ages but not in the primitive society. Basic origin of crime was during the period when human being started feeling lack of resources and also started to feel competition among contemporary beings. To move forward from another either one has to move fast or to make other to move slowly. From here the man out of the lack of the resources and for self-living started to pull other, which slowly took the form of the crime and has made home in the human mind.
Darwin’s theory suggest about the development of the human beings and other animals. In some nature we as human beings different from animals as humans started living tighter and started growing his own food. It was that period when human beings started going food for himself, human civilization expanded rapidly. We came far ahead from animals and now it is suggested that the crime is human nature. It was never there in pre commune period. It is only the question of one’s survival which makes him to commit crime.
Survival now includes from food to social status. A person’s social status and role also play tremendous role in defining his behavior. The people who belong to the lower strata of society face loads of problems in their lives, among which poverty is the most dominant one. Poverty makes person to commit crime again related to his question of survival.
Consider the countries that are suffering from poverty; there are many examples wherein people commit crimes as a result of intense destitution. Take the example of our own country India; there are many people who have joined the thieves, robbers, dacoits and take the lives of innocent people because they find no other means of supporting their families. There are many people who steal things from the markets so as to fill the stomach of their children who have not found anything to eat for many days. Poverty is one of basic factors.
Human mind as mentioned earlier in dialecticism not only react but respond to the circumstances. So, the mindset of human beings; in fact their social psychology plays a role as well in choosing the way to crimes. Nonetheless, it should be kept in consideration that human social psychology is developed within a society and there are impressions of social circumstances. There is a saying that a society prepares crimes and criminals commit them. Concept is not too simple but very much complex according to the circumstances.
But as far it is concerned with our judicial system no law cares about such circumstances. It is limited itself to punishment or one can say revenge system. It is really imperative to keep in consideration that the law-enforcement system can provide short-term solution to the crimes. If a society is really interested in controlling them there should be a long-term strategy that must deal with the basic reasons of the crime and try to nip the evil in the bud.
There should be efforts to work on efficient administration, better economic condition, political stability, good governance, providence of basic human rights and control of corruption. Justice should reach to all the people of the society alike and the citizens must not feel alienated from the society. Moreover, there should not be discrimination as far as practical implementation of the criminal law is considered. Law should not serve the rich alone as is happening in many societies of the world; rather all should be treated equally in this regard. Rights of the people must be taken care of