Juvenile act adequate, says experts
New Delhi, Feb 4 : Child rights experts Monday said the Juvenile Justice Act in India was adequate in addressing juvenile crime but there was a lack of proper implementation.
"There are things on paper, but lack of training and sensitization have made it impossible to implement the act which is resulting in problems," said Bharti Sharma of the Child Welfare Committee.
She said there was an urgent need for training the judiciary and police and make the media and public aware of the act.
"It needs to be remembered that juvenile justice is care based and not criminal justice. So the focus should be on providing rehabilitation, restoration and reintegration," Sharma said.
Asked about demands to reduce the age of juvenile from 18 to 16 years, she said: "When a child reaches the age of 18 years, there is a certain mental maturity and (he or she) can understand things better."
Vijaylakshmi Arora of Child Rights and You (CRY) said: "The Juvenile Justice Act 2000 was a very, very progressive legislation and needed to be implemented in its entirety.
"Children are going through constant changes and we need to take care of that," she said.
One of the accused in the Dec 16 gang-rape of a young woman in Delhi has been deemed to be a juvenile.