New Delhi: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy is likely to appear before a Juvenile Justice Board in Delhi on Monday to argue for lowering the prosecution age of the minor in the Delhi gangrape case so that the juvenile could be tried at a fast-track court like other five accused.
The debate for lowering the prosecution age of minors sparked off following the Delhi gangrape case in which one of the six accused is a juvenile. Senior lawyers, women panels and many legal experts are of the view that the law to punish juveniles should be made more stringent and that the prosecution age of minors should be brought down to 15 or 16.
According to the recently released Home Ministry data, over 33,000 juveniles - mostly between the age group of 16 to 18 - have been arrested for crimes like rape and murder across the country in 2011. This is the highest in the last decade.
According to the data, of the total of 33,387 juveniles apprehended in 2011, 21,657 were in the 16-18 age group, 11,019 of 12-16 age group and 1,211 between 7-12 age group. The data also shows increasing cases of rape against juveniles. As many as 1,419 rape cases were recorded in 2011 as compared to 399 cases in 2001, it said.
The cases of murder by juveniles have also shown a surge in last 10 years. As many as 531 youngsters below the age of 18 were apprehended for murder in 2001 as against 888 arrests between January and December 2011.
It is pertinent to mention that a juvenile and five others were arrested by Delhi Police for brutally raping and assaulting a 23-year-old girl in the national capital on December 16. The girl later succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on December 29.
The police are likely to file a report on Tuesday in Juvenile Justice Board in connection with the alleged role of a minor boy in the gangrape case. The filing of the inquiry report on Tuesday comes 10 days after the filing of chargesheet in a court against five other men allegedly involved in the case. Police had earlier asked for bone density test for ascertaining the juvenile's age.