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The Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility in India: Is it to be blamed for the increasing youth crime? by Stuti Bhatia

About the Author: Stuti Bhatia is a IVth year Law Student at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar

ABSTRACT

Childhood is a notion that is subject to constant revision in any given era or place – this phrase has assumed significant importance in the present legal scenario making it inevitable to analyse if this understanding is indeed true or not.  In the aftermath of the Nirbhaya case in India, a big question has arisen with regard to the correctness of the existing age of criminal responsibility in India. The following Essay delves into this issue and attempts to draw a suitable conclusion with regard to the effectiveness of the Indian Juvenile Justice system. The present age of criminal responsibility in India according to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection for Children) Act, 2000 is 18 years. Juvenile offenders are accorded special treatment under this Act and are not tried in the same Courts as adult offenders. The Essay explores the genesis and jurisprudence behind such law through a study of the UN Conventions. The Essay also tries to understand if there exists a need for changing the current age and making special provisions foe serious offences. The Essay further touches upon certain important issues including how stricter laws may prove counter-productive for offenders who are forced into crime owing to the social environment they are brought up in, and if the punishment should depend on the mental and intellectual capability of each juvenile offender. Lastly, the Essay proposes certain changes with regard to the Indian Juvenile Justice System to make it more effective.

INTRODUCTION

The minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) is the age below which a person is completely immune from any criminal liability due to lack of maturity and judgement to understand the consequences of one’s actions. Next comes the age below which a person is considered vulnerable and immature and hence cannot be made fully responsible for ones actions. This is the period of childhood and adolescence and crime committed during this stage is dealt with by most nations under special laws known as juvenile justice laws. Juvenile delinquency is on the increase today and one of the major issues faced by the world. India is also struggling with juveniles committing serious and grave offences. Thus arises the question if the juvenile laws in the country are too soft and require improvements. How does one ascertain the reasonable punishment for a child? How does one ensure deterrence as well as restoration?

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THE AGE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY IN INDIA: CURRENT SCENARIO

The Criminal system in India is governed and regulated by 2 major legislations including the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) . The IPC provides the substantive part laying out the rights and responsibilities and the CrPC lays down the procedure to be followed by a Court of Law in a criminal proceeding. The IPC has set the age of criminal responsibility at 12 years. An offence committed by a child under the age of 7 years is not punishable.[i] Also, an offence committed by a child above the age of 7 years but below the age of 12 years will not be punishable if it seems that he does not possess sufficient maturity to judge the consequence of his actions.[ii]

Further, it is believed that children cannot be put in the same category as adults under the Criminal Justice system of the country and hence require development of special provisions for them. Physical and mental immaturity and dependency on others are the most outstanding features of childhood.[iii] India has fulfilled this obligation by enacting the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection for Children) Act, 2000 (JJ Act). A Juvenile is defined as a person who has not reached the age of 18 at which one should be treated as an adult by the criminal justice system.[iv] The JJ Act has set the age of criminal responsibility at 18 years or in other words it can deal with offenders under the age of 18years.[v] This age has been set at 18 to bring it in conformity with the definition of child under the UN Convention on the Rights of Child.

The sentencing options available under the JJ Act include advice/admonition, counselling, community service, payment of a fine or, at the most, or detention in a remand home for a maximum period of three years.[vi]

Section 4 of the Act provides for setting up of a Juvenile Justice Board, consisting of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of First Class, and 2 social workers one of whom is a woman. Such Board/Bench has the same powers as conferred by the CrPC on a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class. The trial of a juvenile shall be conducted before this Board[vii] and even in cases where a juvenile is produced before any other Magistrate; such Magistrate is required to forward the juvenile to the Board.[viii]

The Act has also enacted provisions to ensure that proper and appropriate treatment is meted out by the Police Authorities towards the accused juvenile. According to Section 10 of the JJ Act, any juvenile in conflict with law who has been apprehended by the police, should be placed under the charge of the Special Juvenile police unit or the designated police officer who shall produce the juvenile before the Board within a period of 24 hours.

The Act also provides for constitution of a Child Welfare Committee in every district for the care, protection, development of children in need of care and protection.[ix] It also provides for setting up of children homes, shelter homes and further makes provisions for after-care to help them restore their regular life once they leave special homes or children homes.[x]

RELAINCE ON INTERNATIONAL JURISPRUDENCE

The first national legislation on Juvenile Justice was adopted by the Parliament in 1986 in the form of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. The 1986 law was the first attempt in India to create a uniform, national, body of law and system of justice and corrections for young people. This legislation however wasn’t the first on juvenile justice in India. Several states and union territories had enacted their own legislations with respect to juvenile offenders. The era of such legislations had begun in the period of British Rule with the enactment of the Apprentice Act, 1850. Next, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 set the age for criminal culpability and the CrPC also went to make provisions for separate trials for persons under the age of 15 years, and their confinement in reformatories rather than prisons.[xi] The first legislative act in specific regard to children was enacted by the State of Madras in 1920.[xii] This law defined a youthful offender as someone who is below the age of 18 years. The Children’s Act was passed in 1960 and the 1986 Act is an essentially an extension to this statue.

The 1986 Act was re-modelled to bring it in conformity with the UN Convention on Rights of Child which the Government of India had ratified on 11th December, 1992 and hence, came into existence the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.[xiii] The existing law relating to juveniles was re-enacted bearing in mind the standards prescribed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (1990).[xiv] The Rights of Child Convention defines a child as every human being below the age of 18 years.[xv]

The jurisprudence underlying these legal texts is the legal philosophy that juveniles lack the physical and mental maturity to take responsibility for their crimes, and because their character is not fully developed, they still have the possibility of being rehabilitated.[xvi] Children, as right holders have the right to be protected.  Children may not be able to exercise liberty rights; however, they do possess protection rights such as right to education, health and public safety. Childhood is a concept that bundles together ideas and expectations about young people and their role in societies.[xvii] As such, its meaning is socially constructed and varies over time within and across cultures, with no one universal meaning.[xviii] Different conceptions of childhood then predispose people to understand, interpret, and address children’s issues from different vantage points, including through the creation of legal norms and standards about children.[xix] Thus, this translates into specific precise legal age limits that mark the boundaries of childhood and adolescence. Children younger than the prescribed age are considered legally incompetent. Since they don’t exercise any rights apart from protection rights, they also are not burdened with any form of responsibility. Children progressively acquire liberty rights as they pass successive age limits, each denoting legal competency and responsibility in different areas. Examples include legal and medical counselling without parental consent, end of compulsory education, marriage, sexual consent and the minimum age of criminal responsibility.[xx] Typically, the age of majority in a given country is the final or nearly final age limit, bringing adult rights and responsibilities in most contexts. This approach is broadly reflected in the UN Convention on the Rights of Child.

Several other international legal instruments have commented on the minimum age of criminal responsibility focusing on the protection of child’s rights. These Conventions include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which though does not set out a specific age limit, imposes upon State the responsibility to set a minimum age limit which is in conformity with internationally recognised norms and is applicable to boys and girls alike.[xxi] The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice also recognises the fact the minimum age for criminal responsibility varies from place to place owing to history and culture. However, it does assert that such age should not be fixed at too low an age level, taking into consideration the facts of emotional, mental and intellectual maturity.[xxii] The Beijing Rules further allow deprivation of liberty of juvenile in case of an offence of serious and violent nature. The Convention against Torture, 1984 has frequently expressed concern over age of criminal responsibility being set at very low age levels like 7, 8 and 10 years.[xxiii]

IS THERE NEED FOR CHANGE?

One of the most visible examples for advocating a change in the current juvenile justice system in India would be the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, famously known as the Nirbhaya case. It was a blotch not only on the juvenile justice system but also on the criminal justice system as whole. A 23-old medical student was brutally beaten and gang-raped in a moving bus in the southern part of Delhi. A total of 6 offenders were involved in the crime, one of which was a 17-year old juvenile.

This incident sparked off several protests in various parts of the country demanding stricter punishment for juveniles in India. This case has raised questions about the effectiveness of the juvenile system in the country. There is on-going debate about the correct age of criminal responsibility and whether such age needs to be lowered or an exception needs to be made for serious crimes like rape and murder.

Statistics do certainly reveal an increasing trend in the rate of crime by juvenile in the country. A study of crime rate in the past decade shows that the even though the percentage of juvenile crime compared to total crime has increased by a mere 0.7% over a span of 10 years, the percentage of juveniles committing the offence of rape has increased by an alarming 53%.[xxiv] The police in the country have booked as many as 1,316 juveniles on rape charges the whole of last year. Another 685 minor boys were booked on charges of molestation. One of the 1,316 juvenile sexual offenders was a 13-year-old boy in Coimbatore who abused his five-year-old neighbour after luring her to a secluded place. When the girl’s mother rushed to her help on hearing her wails, the boy escaped after hitting the woman.

However, activists say it would be prejudicial to treat all juveniles in conflict with law as criminals. “Many juvenile sex offenders are themselves first victims, particularly street children and children in poor families would have been repeatedly abused by others and turned into offenders over a period of time,” says activist A Narayanan.[xxv] Further, the maximum number of juveniles have been apprehended for the crime of rape after theft and hurt. Juvenile between the age group of 16-18 years show maximum increase in crime rate at 25% over the past 10 years. An overwhelming majority from this age group has been held for the crimes of rape and murder.[xxvi]

The question whether young offenders accused of serious and heinous crimes should be dealt by adult courts has many a times come before the Indian Courts in the past. With regard to the Reformatory Schools Act, conflict arose on whether children charged with death or life imprisonment should be dealt under this Act. The judicial opinion differed here as some High Courts held that the Act could be applied in such cases if the depravity was not innate,[xxvii] while others refused to apply it in view of the nature of the offence.[xxviii] Under CrPC the question was whether the juvenile Court or the Sessions Court had jurisdiction to deal with such cases and the controversy was settled in favour of the exclusive jurisdiction of the juvenile court.[xxix]

A COMPARATIVE OUTLOOK

At this stage, it would be helpful to look at the juvenile laws of different countries and minimum age of criminal responsibility set by their legislators. A study of current MACRs worldwide shows that most countries have set the same at ages between 7 to 14, however they have at the same time made provisions for special treatment of offenders falling under the age of 18. Australia has several different legislations and courts governing the juvenile justice in different regions. For instance, in New South Wales, a person under the age of 18 and committing an offence is dealt by a Children’s court as per the provisions of the Young offenders Act, 1997 and Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act, 1987. However, police charges for very serious offences are dealt with by District Courts and Supreme Courts. The sentencing options for a juvenile offender in Australia include a dismissal and/or caution, a good behaviour bond with or without supervision, a fine, referral to a youth justice conference, conditional or unconditional probation, a community service order, or an order that confines a young person to a period to detention in a juvenile justice centre.[xxx] Detainees 16 years and over, who are of high classification can be transferred to the Department of Corrective Services (Kariong Juvenile Correctional Centre).[xxxi] Australian legislation further provides for transfer of young offenders over 18 years to an adult custody if they have a serious indictable offence or in case he has committed an offence while in juvenile detention.[xxxii] Further, Legislations in Victoria and Western Australia deal with offenders from ages 10-17 and 10-18 respectively.[xxxiii] The Juvenile Justice system also provides several support and rehabilitation services to the young offenders such as post-release support services, group conferences, legal aid, intensive supervision programs for repeat offenders and others. Under the South Australian Young Offenders Act, 1993 the police is allowed to issue formal and informal cautions minus any court intervention. Informal cautions are for minor offences and in case of a serious offences, the offender may be referred to family conferences. Thus, Australia all in all provides for several sentencing options taking into consideration the age, maturity and nature of offence and also aims at maintaining as much normalcy as possible in the lives of the young offenders. In UK, the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, 1999 deals with young offenders under the age of 18. Youth Courts have the power to give Detention and Training Orders of up to 24 months, as well as a range of sentences in the community. Youth courts are essentially private places and members of the public are not allowed in.[xxxiv] In cases of minor offences or where the offender commits a crime for the first time, the same can be dealt by the Police or the local authority themselves in order to stop young people getting sucked into the youth justice system too early. The measures that can be taken by the Police include reprimanding, issuing a final warning or Anti-Social behaviour Order or imposing a local child curfew. Courts can also order a sentence in the Community rehabilitation Centre, Community punishment Centre or impose a fine. Special provisions have been provided for young offenders committing murder or other specified serious offences which are punishable with imprisonment of 14 years or more. Such offenders may be detained upto the adult maximum for the offence and under such conditions as the Secretary of State deems suitable.[xxxv] The length, period and nature of sentence may vary with each case taking into consideration the specific facts and in certain cases a offender may be shifted to adult custody after attaining 18 years of age. In US, the first juvenile court in the was established in Cook County, Illinois, in 1899 and within a few years juvenile court laws had been passed in each of the states. The legal doctrine of “parens patriae” formed the foundation of juvenile courts and meant that the State was given the authority to make decisions for the benefit of the child as a parent would.

On the heels of the In re Gault[xxxvi] decision, the U.S. Congress passed the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act in 1968. In 1974,
further protections for youth were added in Act. This Act does allow detention of juvenile offenders in adult jails in certain circumstances.[xxxvii]In most U.S. States, the jurisdiction of juvenile courts is automatically waived when a juvenile above a certain age, usually 13 or 15, commits a violent or other serious crime, and the case is automatically transferred to adult court. A certification hearing takes place and an adult court prosecutor is required to convince the adult court that the case should be transferred. For instance, in countries like Indiana, South Dakota and Vermont, children as young as 10 can be tried as adults. California’s Proposition 21 which was passed in 2000 allows prosecutors to automatically try juveniles who commit felonies as adults.[xxxviii] Several countries in Latin America and Caribbean have ratified the UN Convention on Child Rights in the last decade and set up a juvenile justice system for protection of young offenders, those under the age of 18.[xxxix] The Youth Criminal Justice Act, 2003 was passed by the Government in Canada to restore the public confidence in the youth justice system. It allows imposition of adult sentences on most serious juvenile offenders.[xl]

WHETHER REDUCING THE AGE CAN TURN OUT TO BE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE?

The outrage caused post the Nirbhaya case resulted in people demanding for stricter laws for juvenile offenders and further a reduction in age from 18 years to 16 years. The SC touched upon on this matter examining the question of whether juvenile maturity should be used as a yardstick before referring trial to the Juvenile Justice Board in case of serious and heinous offences.[xli] In response to the same, The Women and Child Development Ministry proposed an amendment to charge juveniles between ages of 16-18 years of age involved in heinous crimes under the Indian Penal Code. However, the amendment has faced strong opposition from agencies like NCPCR, CRY, UNICEF and others citing the reason that it stands against the UN Convention on Child Rights which has been ratified by India.[xlii] It has been argued that such an amendment would result in retributive justice rather than restorative and reformative justice. The US SC in the case Roper v. Simmons[xliii], agreed with an overwhelming amount of psychological data pointing to the fact that adolescents who were around the age of 17 were vulnerable to peer pressure, coercion, were impulsive, more likely to take risks and make temporal decisions.[xliv] The main aim of the Juvenile Justice Act is to save young offenders from getting sucked into the criminal justice system so early on in life and to allow them to reform. However, such amendment would not only defeat this aim but also not allow the offender to recover from the punishment leaving his future in the dark. Juvenile offenders are allowed some leeway on account of the fact that they may be immature and not fully capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. Many further argue that following on the footsteps of US and UK may not work for India as the crime reality and trends varies considerably from that in India. The number of children being charged in US and UK is much greater as compared to in India.[xlv] Juvenile delinquency has been known to arise due to several factors including family influence, the social environment a juvenile has been brought up in and peer pressure. At times, the demands of wants and needs are intensified by a society that consists of high mobility, social change, and is materialistic. Also, social changes can create anxiety and disillusionment for adolescents and thus they commit delinquent acts.[xlvi] In US, some of the most frequent juvenile crimes include thefts, gun violence and drug abuse. The increasing divorce rates and broken families is touted as one of the main reasons for delinquency as it leaves the juveniles with an emotional vacuum. Child welfare activists in India argue that that the Juvenile Justice Act is essentially a welfare law and has been created for the care and protection of the children, if harsher punishment is allowed for juveniles in the future, this Act would fail in this objective. Further, they believe that every juvenile is made a criminal due to the lack of required amenities and education for the child which the nation is obligated to provide.

CONCLUSION

Taking all of the above factors and elements into consideration, the issue at hand remains that India is indeed facing an increase in youth crime which covers not just minor offences but also grave and heinous offences. The Nirbhaya case caused a shock wave in the entire nation outraging many including me. As tempted as I am to say that offenders committing offences of such gravity, irrespective of whether they are juvenile or adult should be harshly punished, it seems this is not the ideal solution to the problem. One shocking incident should not result in adaption of measures which might later emerge counter-productive. For instance, in the James Bulger case of 1993 in UK where two 11-year old charged with murdering a toddler had been tried in an adult court and sentenced to minimum of 8 years of imprisonment which was later increased to 10 years. The shock and outrage caused by the incident resulted in the public demanding for life imprisonment for the offenders. The Home Secretary ultimately succumbed to the pressure increasing the sentence to 15 years. Later, the sentence was greatly criticised by the ECHR stating the 2 boys had received a fair trial. They were paroled in 2001, when they both turned 18 and by then UK had a juvenile justice system in place.[xlvii] Indian Legislators should not make a similar mistake due to public pressure and need to make a well thought out decision. However, the past incidents and increasing reports of youth crime do indicate the need for a change. The youth crime rate in India may not be as large as in other countries however; the same is also not going down. It would be a wise step to take preventive steps from itself. The Beijing Rules allows the signatories to make special provisions for serious and grave offences. Countries like UK, Australia and US also have allowed special provisions for serious offences like murder, sexual assault, rape and others. India can also follow on similar lines because even if the main objective of the juvenile law is welfare and restoration, at the end of the day every law should have a deterrent effect. If a law begins to lose the element of deterrence, it will no longer stay effective. Further, in cases of juveniles it is easier to reform them when they first show anti-social behaviour rather than when they become hard-earned criminals. India should allow more serious punishment or longer periods of duration for children committing serious offences in the bracket of 16-18 years especially. They need not be tried as adults, but under the juvenile act itself special provisions can be be made. They can be sentenced to detention in juvenile justice centres away from adult prisons. Once they have attained the age of 18 and the sentence is still pending, they can be transferred to adult custody. The juvenile law in Australia is modelled on these lines. Maturity of child offender can also be used as a yardstick in certain cases. Stricter punishments will definitely sacrifice on certain child rights such as education and affect their future, but one cannot deny that change is the need of the hour and India cannot afford to see more incidents like Nirbhaya.

[i] Section 82, IPC, 1860

[ii] Section 83, IPC, 1860

[iii]VED KUMARI, THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA: FROM WELFARE TO RIGHTS, 11 (Oxford India Paperbacks) (2010)

[iv] BRYAN A. GARNER, BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY, 884 (Thomson West) (2004),

[v]Section 2(k), JJ Act, 2000

[vi] Section 15, 16, JJ Act, 2000

[vii]Section 6, JJ Act, 200

[viii]Section 7, JJ Act, 2000

[ix] Section 29, JJ Act, 2000

[x] Section 44, JJ Act, 2000

[xi]Section 298, 399 and 562, CrPC, 1973

[xii]Madras Children’s Act, 1920

[xiii]Preamble, JJ Act, 2000

[xiv]Preamble, JJ Act, 2000

[xv]Article 1, Convention on Rights of Child, 1989

[xvi]Aparna Vishwanathan, Balancing the Juvenile Act, THE HINDU, September 9, 2013, (January 15, 2014) <https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/balancing-the-juvenile-act/article5107620.ece>

[xvii] Barry Goldson, “Childhood’: An Introduction to Historical and Theoretical Analyses”, in Phil Scraton, ed., “Childhood in Crisis”? (London University College London Press) (1997)

[xviii] Bob Franklin, “Children’s rights and media wrongs: changing representations of children and the developing rights agenda,” in Bob Franklin, ed., The new Handbook of Children’s Rights: The Comparative Policy and Practice and Practice (London, Routledge) (2002)

[xix] Jo Boyden, “Childhood and the Policy Makers: A Comparative Perspective on the Globalisation of Childhood, “ in James Allison, and Alan Prout, eds, “Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Challenges in the Sociological Study of Childhood” (London, Falmer Press) (1997)

[xx] DON CRIPANI, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND THE MINIMUM AGE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE,3 (Ashgate) (2009)

[xxi] Manfred Nowak, U.N Covenant on Civil and Policitcal Rights: CCPR Commentary, Kehl (Germany), N. P Engel (1993)

[xxii]Article 4, UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985

[xxiii]Concluding Observations: Yemen, CAT/C/CR/31/4, 5 Feb 2004, pars. 6(1) and 7(I); Indonesia, CAT/C/IDN/CO/2, 16 May 2008, Advance Unedited Vers., par. 17 (“urgency”)

[xxiv]Crime in India: Statistics, (National Crime Records Bureau) (2011) (January 15, 2014) <https://ncrb.nic.in/CD-CII2011/Statistics2011.pdf>

[xxv]J Santosh, NCRB Report: 1316 Juveniles booked for rape last year, THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS, June 17, 2013 (January 15, 2013) <https://newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/NCRB-report-1316-juveniles-booked-for-rape-last-year/2013/06/17/article1638450.ece>

[xxvi] Gyanant Singh, Age is no bar for sex crimes, suggests NCRB Report, INDIA TODAYIN, January 28, 2013 (January 15, 2014)<https://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/adolescence-debate-juvenile-offences-ncrb-report-2011/1/247858.html>

[xxvii]Gangaram Raghunath v State of MP, AIR 1965 (MP) 122 (SB)

[xxviii]Ramgopal v State, 1968 Cri LJ 1178 (MP) (SB)

[xxix]Raghbir v. State of Haryana, 1981 Cri LJ 1497(SC)

[xxx] (January 15, 2014)<https://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6442458890>

[xxxi]Section 28(1), Children Detention Centres Act,1987

[xxxii]Section 19, Children (Criminal Proceedings Act), 1987

[xxxiii] (January 15, 2014)<https://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=6442458890>

[xxxiv]Ian Blakeman, The Youth Justice System of England and Wales, 139th International Training Course Visiting Experts Paper,

[xxxv]  Section 90, 91, Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act, 2000

[xxxvi] In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967)

[xxxvii](January 15, 2014)< https://www.djs.state.md.us/history-us.asp>

[xxxviii] Aparna Vishwanathan, Balancing the Juvenile Act, THE HINDU, September 9, 2013, (January 15, 2014) <https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/balancing-the-juvenile-act/article5107620.ece>

[xxxix] UNICEF, Juvenile Justice System: Good Practices in Latin America, 2006 (January 15, 2014)<https://www.unicef.org/lac/JUSTICIA_PENALingles.pdf>

[xl] Julian V. Roberts, Nicholas Bala, Peter J. Carrington, Evaluating the Criminal Justice Act After 5 Years: A Qualified Success, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Vol 32, 133 (April 2009)

[xli]Dhananjay Mohapatra, “Should ‘juvenile Maturity’ be yardstick in trials, asks SC”, TIMES OF INDIA, Dec 3, 2013 (January 15, 2014)<https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Should-juveniles-maturity-be-yardstick-in-trials-SC-asks/articleshow/26757714.cms>

[xlii] Himanshi Dhawani, Child rights panel against treating juveniles as adults, TIMES OF INDIA, December 3, 2013

[xliii] Roper vSimmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)

[xliv]Kunal Ambasta, Retribution is not justice, THE INDIAN EXPRESS, Dec 4, 2013 (January 15, 2014) <https://archive.indianexpress.com/news/retribution-is-not-justice/1202935/1>

[xlv] Crime and Punishment: Age reduction: Risky Affair, Express News Service, Dec 21 2013, (January 15, 2014)<https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Crime-and-Punishment-Age-Reduction-Risky-Affair/2013/12/21/article1956931.ece>

[xlvi] Joseph A. Wickliffe, Why Juveniles Commit crimes, Yale New Haven Teachers Institute, (January 15, 2014)<https://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/2/00.02.07.x.html>

[xlvii]Erin Keeley, Around the World: Juvenile Sentencing in the UK, Children’s Legal Rights Journal, Vol. 32, (2012) 89

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