ibnlive » India

Jan 24, 2013 at 08:39am IST

Justice Verma panel refuses to propose lowering the age for juvenile criminals

New Delhi: Justice JS Verma committee, constituted to look into rape laws, on Wednesday refused to propose lowering the legally defined age for juvenile delinquents from 18 to 16 years. "The condition of juvenile homes in the country is pathetic," Justice Verma said at a press conference after submitting his report to the Union Home Ministry.

In the report, the committee observed that juvenile homes in the country were not being run in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Juvenile Justice Act. The state should ensure constitution of welfare committees, juvenile boards and infrastructural in children's homes. The quality of food, the quality of counselling and psychotherapy required to wipe out scars of abuse and deprivation in early childhood should be ensured.

"We are shocked to note that so many of these children have been forced into bonded labour," Justice Verma observed. The condition of juveniles came under focus following the claim by one of the accused in the December 16 Delhi gangrape here that he was legally a minor, not having attained the age of 18 years.

No lowering of age for juvenile criminals: Report

In the report, the committee also observed that the condition of juvenile homes was not in spirit to the Juvenile Justice Act.