NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday passed the Juvenile Justice Bill in the Lok Sabha that will allow children between the age group of 16 – 18 to be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, juveniles’ crime between 16-18 years have increased and especially in certain categories of heinous crimes.

The bill explains that in case of a heinous crime done by a person of that age group; it will be examined by a Juvenile Justice Board to evaluate if the crime was committed as a ‘child’ or as an ‘adult’.

The trial of the case will be undertaken by the board accordingly that will comprise of psychologists and social experts.

The new legislation was proposed in view of escalating number of grave offences being committed by persons within the age bracket of 16-18 years.

The figure of the murder cases involving juveniles increased from 531 in 2002 to 1, 007 in 2013. Apart from this, rape cases and assault with an intention to outrage the modesty of women increased from 485 and 522 in 2002 to 1, 884 and 1, 424 in 2013 respectively.

933 kidnapping and abduction cases were registered against juveniles in 2013 which was 704 in 2012.

However, in 2014, a data released by Delhi Police showed that in first 10 months of the year, juveniles committed an average of six crimes every day. 

It revealed 1,727 criminal cases that included snatching, robbery, dacoity, attempt to murder, murder and rape. While robbery was the most frequent crime with 412 cases reported across the capital, dacoity was the second most common (360) followed by burglary (145).

Over 250 civil society organizations, individuals and experts had offered their comments on the draft Bill that was taken into consideration before being given a final shape, according to the Women and Child Development Ministry.

The proposed legislation also incorporates other issues such as illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of children by terrorist groups and offences against disabled children.

The fresh bill also suggests reorganizing the adoption measures for orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children by making mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care.

Apart from this, it also proposes several rehabilitation and social integration procedures for institutional and non- institutional children.