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Apply rarest of the rare case thesis

Apply rarest of the rare case thesis
Highlights

As the juvenile convicted in Delhi gang rape case walks free after completing only three years of sentence as per the present law, the nation yet again debates whether or not the so called juveniles convicted for horrendous crimes be released with petty sentences.

As the juvenile convicted in Delhi gang rape case walks free after completing only three years of sentence as per the present law, the nation yet again debates whether or not the so called juveniles convicted for horrendous crimes be released with petty sentences.

The Delhi High Court went according to the rule book failing to provide a creative interpretation of the Constitution and law by refusing to stay the release. Hope the Supreme Court scheduled to hear the plea not to release the juvenile criminal would satisfy the nation’s conscience by pronouncing a rational reading of constitutional and legal provisions.

The juvenile is now no longer a child as he is 20 years. The juvenile can be a threat to society if he is allowed to move freely. The nature of the crime indicates the dangerous character of this so called juvenile. This criminal pulled out part of the woman's intestines with his hands.

Can he still be called a child who does not fully comprehend the ramifications of the crime even if he is below 18 years of age to be categorised as a juvenile as per law. The court should apply the thesis of rarest of the rare cases where the Indian law permits death sentence in case of adults.

The juvenile law should also be reinterpreted to suggest that a juvenile even if he is technically categorised so because of his age should also be tried as per adult laws if the case involved is of a rarest of the rare nature. The intensity of the crime should determine the nature of punishment.

The loophole in our legal system has allowed the perpetrator of such a ghastly and heinous crime to escape the severe punishment. The convict has reportedly shown zero remorse for his crime. There are also reports quoting Intelligence Bureau which indicate that the convict has been radicalised while in detention. If true, he would pose a serious threat to the society.

Even the life of the juvenile will also be in danger due to simmering public anger over his release just after three years. At least this would act as a justification for prolonging the sentence of the so called juvenile criminal.

The present Juvenile Justice Act awards not more than three years of imprisonment in this case. The Indian Parliament could not find time to enact amended Juvenile Justice Act. This Bill permits juveniles between the ages of 16 to 18 years to be tried as adults for heinous crimes like rape, acid attacks or murders.

Meanwhile, the data compiled by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reveals that the juvenile crimes registered under IPC rose by 47 per cent between 2010 and 2014. This emphasises the need for deterrent punishment at least in the rarest of the rare cases.

The juveniles can be given the benefit of correction in case of relatively not so serious crimes. This argument is validated by the NCRB data which further reveals that the juvenile arrests for rape increased by 288 per cent. The law should therefore reflect the changing nature of crimes.

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