December 22, 2015
Juvenile Justice should be based on the foundation of reform and rehabilitation: Derek in RS
Speaking on the Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014 in the Rajya Sabha, leader of the party in the Upper House, Derek O’Brien today said that juvenile justice should be based on the foundation of reform and rehabilitation.
Reform and Rehabilitation
“There are good bills, very good bills and ideal bills. The Juvenile Justice Bill a good bill. Let us pass it rather than wait indefinitely for an ideal Bill.”
Derek also cautioned against pitting women’s rights against child rights. “If one follows the Bill’s debate, irrespective of the outcome, it’s disappointing to see child rights being pegged against women’s rights,” he said.
He mentioned that repeat offenders among juvenile accounts for only five per cent while the figure is 17 per cent in the US. He stressed that the focus of the government should be on implementation of the Bill. “The bigger job is to ensure juvenile homes function properly. We also need to work very hard to work on education system,” added.
Maintaining that if any juvenile turns out to be a criminal it is a collective failure of the society, Derek suggested three amendments to the Bill:
1. Broadening maximum sentence from 3 years to 7-10 years, to be on the safer side and to provide more cushion for reform of the juvenile.
2. After release, juvenile should be offered not just financial support but educational support & counselling services, too.
3. There is a different penalty for selling a child (5 years) and giving drugs to a child (7 years). This must be looked into.
He also congratulated all sides of the political spectrum for coming together to legislate on this sensitive subject.