Even after all these years, the Indian land is still referred to as ‘The land of snake charmers’ and why not?
Setting foot on the moon isn’t everything. It still stands as an epitome of a hyped nation wherein the mass psychology plays the trump card time and again.
The December rape case, following which the amendments were made to the Juvenile Justice ( Care and protection of children) Act, 2000 so as to treat the minors older than 16 years as adults in case of heinous crimes was the last time the juveniles were even considered for one good time. I second this notion wholeheartedly but I refuse to turn a blind eye to the actual juveniles and the so called ‘mild punishment’ awarded to them.
The Juvenile Justice Act was first implemented in 1960 whereby the juveniles were sent to rehabilitation as a part of their punishment awarded by the honourable court of law. But in the years that followed, the lawmakers have seemed to forget the definition of rehabilitation.
Just as a reminder, Rehabilitation of juveniles refers to the restoration of their credibility. But It saddens me to know that rehabilitation has completely lost its meaning, just abiding by the law at the end of the pyramid is what it has shrunk to.
The rehabilitation homes are inadequately funded resulting into small shelters with a massive population of juveniles trying to fit in. This further leads to lack of proper meals, well, no meals at times. They do a not meet the demands of an average child, how do we expect a restoration when the basic needs aren’t catered to?
The Development of the Juvenile halts the moment he steps into the rehabilitation center. The hygiene is a long forgotten question, that no one dares ask. Juveniles that come from rich backgrounds who have never been confronted with such adverse living conditions fall sick to death many a times. Others, get used to it and never make it out of this paranoia.
But the major issue is still not limited to this, the lawmakers are highly negligent to the security and auditing of these rehabilitations. It is very sick how all sorts of crime take place within these centers under the nose of the authorities, and when I say everything, I’d mean it full well. The boys rape, molest and harass their counterparts and nothing is done about it. Absolutely nothing. A number of severe fights are to be seen that employ use of minor tools capable of causing deep hurt and wounds.
Who has the audacity to term this as a rehabilitation in any sense?
What’s worse is that the juveniles charged with minor crimes and those charged with major crimes share the same roof. There is a 75% chance of the major criminal Juveniles to take over the Minor ones, thus rehabilitation is snapped. In a number of cases, some Juveniles are forcefully made to commit crimes and hence punished, however, their mental state is no different than any other innocent children but in the ethos as such, they eventually see themselves drowning deep into the chagrin.
But the lawmakers do not think if it is important to monitor the rehabilitation at given points of time or atleast hold regular inspections into the matter.
Is that too much responsibility?
What breaks me down finally is the fact that most of the juveniles booked for Minor crimes are orphans who aren’t even literate. They do not know the duration of their punishment and hence often cross the time period. Sad, how the authorities do not keep a check on their release like they do for inflicting punishments over them.
The matter of concern is that the whole purpose of the Juvenile Justice Act is defeated, and most cruelly. The juveniles never restore their credibility, they keep committing crimes inside the rehabilitation centers due to a major lack of guidance and their punishments are extended. They never restore their original selves. They are more than often lost behind the stale walls and their innocence buried deep inside the swiped ground. A large number of them even lose mental stability on account of severe frustration.
So why this juvenile punishment system at all?
Who is answerable?
Also, in a country with the largest youth population, why is this entailed to those who are supposed to form the youth of the future?
The last few years have witnessed acrimonious numbers of juvenile crimes taking place and them juveniles being sent to the rehabilitation. Basically, so many lives have been destroyed and we call it law.
Is that why the lady of justice blind?