Juvenile Punishment – UPSC Ethics


Recently few juveniles escaped from juvenile home after attacking the staff and police. Some of these juveniles were “convicted of murder and rape by the courts. The relatives of victims had plead the government and courts to treat some of these juveniles as adults and punish them accordingly.
You might have read about such cases in recent times. Identify various ethical issues involved in cases such as above and critically analyse them. (200 Words)
Any crime that is committed, is against State (Government) that is why cases are taken with conscience that, Perpetrator vs State. If Juveniles crimes are on rise and their escapes are rising, then there are following ethical issues involved on State, Society and Parents:
  1. Considering the age and psychological age of unpredictability of juveniles, Juveniles home must provide an enabling environment to engage them in education, artisitic work, skill developments, leadership quality and other soft skills like dancing/music etc. This will keep there 3 years stay busy and fruitful. If there are rising cases of runaways then State(Government) must look on Security, food, entertainment, warden‘s behaviour and facilities mentioned above. Not providing conducive environment to juveniles is double ethical loss, first Government lost one chance of rehabilitate a delinquent and second, later he may grow up to a criminal and become State‘s liability.
  2. Society and Relatives in such cases follow extreme steps, either they plead for juveniles innocence and his tender age or they will show complete indifference toward them by not supporting them. Both these cases are dangerous and obstruct reasonable
  3. rehabilitation. In first case, juvenile gets encouragement from parents toward weak
  4. judicial system, In other case juvenile gets idea that nobody loves/wants him and he has
  5. no moral obligation toward anyone.
Instead society must follow middle path toward juveniles by encouraging them to undergo reform process and at the same time being supportive toward him in whole
process in expectation of better conduct.
With the rise in access to information, media, illicit materials and nutrition, Children are getting matured more early. Indian law set the age of maturity as 18 years before that a perpetrator is considered as juvenile. We arrived the magic age 18 with much deliberation of child psychologists and early records of CrPC. But now, children are maturing mentally and physically earlier. A 18 year old is much more informed, capable and potential to do crime than 3 decades ago when juvenile age was decided. Hence, government should think upon trying juveniles as adult in crimes like rape and murder.



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