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Brutal assault and rape
incident of 16th December 2012 in
Delhi in which one of the accused was alleged to be a juvenile augumented a
fresh debate on reducing the age of criminal responsibility of juveniles in
India. Although certain amendments has been ensured in Juvenile Justice (Care
and Protection of Children) Act 2000 in Parliament and in compliance with the
international obligations the age of criminal responsibility of male has been raised
from 16 to 18years. Yet, another consideration which appears to have weighed
with the worldwide community, including India, to retain eighteen as the upper
limit to which persons could be treated as children.

 

The Criminal Law in India defines, a ‘Cri and
codified in law as a crime. (‘nullum
crimen–nocrimesineexistsunlesslege’itisso

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defined
by the law). Although crime and delinquency are basically
similar concepts, they differ

 

with respect to the ‘age’ which hasal aspectalways b
of a child in relation to his criminal responsibility. From the time
immemorial, the concept of

 

‘Age’ has always been an unexplored
topic in the theoretical aspect of a child in relation to his criminal
responsibility. When a juvenile, below an age specified under a statute
exhibits behaviour which may prove to be dangerous to society he may be called
a Juvenile delinquent. Juvenile delinquents includes both boys and girls who
are below the age of majority.

 

Children are considered
to be the prime assets of the Nation, they are the precious treasures of the
future and they are the most valuable assets of a nation and society. It is the
duty of State to look after them with a view to ensure the complete development
of their personalities. Since society expect them to grow as responsible
citizens of the future, they need special care, protection, affection and
facilities because of their tender age, physique and underdevelopment mental
faculties.

 

There is a need to give
special importance to children in society. Importance of a child is well
recognized since ages. Nowadays children are under tremendous social pressure
due to new changing social perceptions. They violate the rules and thus disturbing
the social order attract the attention of the social control agencies. Informal
and formal control stakeholders like parents and family on one side and legal
institutions like police, courts or prisons on the other have a superior
interest in a law-abiding behaviour of the next generation.

 

A
report of UNICEF in 2005 on theChildstateunder of Threat”,
spoke regarding India, mentioning tha deprived their right of survival,
health, nutrition, education and safe drinking water. This is

what is actually
happening to the most of the young children who, if properly taken care of,

 

would
shine the future of the country. The c national asset1″
andeatestthegiftof humanitygr2,
in the present scenario appears to be hollow

from
the grass root level.

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