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IT IS DEBATABLE - Juveniles Should Be Given Adult Punishments For Adult Crimes In India

Updated on August 19, 2013

For the Motion

A markerNew Delhi -
New Delhi, Delhi, India
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The Delhi gang-rape case of 2012 sparked a fiery debate on the topic throughout the nation

The Indian Constitution
The Indian Constitution

About two months ago, a clueless verdict came from the bench of the Supreme Court that sparked a fiery debate throughout the nation, simply because many of us believe that something better was the need of the hour. Should juveniles be given adult punishment for adult crimes? Our supreme court states that reducing the age of juveniles may be a violation of our prestigious constitution. But constitution functions for our betterment. So, how can right justice turn out to be a violation?

If your relative fell prey of the dark, wouldn't you want the predator to be punished?
If your relative fell prey of the dark, wouldn't you want the predator to be punished?

Consider this. If very unfortunately, your close relative fell prey of the dark, wouldn’t you want to catch hold of the predator and reward him with a harsh punishment. Suppose, more unfortunately, the criminal turns out to be a juvenile. No matter how much hard you try, he would get away in no time, and then his deed would creep in a dusty file in some record room, never to be opened again. Now I ask you a question, would you accept this? Absolutely not.

Juvenile delinquency has a maximum punishment for three years in our country, for they are believed to be incapable of drawing the line between right and wrong. There is no default in this ideology, but the loophole rests in the set age bar.

The 'Young Blood' is very vicious.
The 'Young Blood' is very vicious.
Protests for punishment of the rapists of Delhi Gang-Rape Case of 2012
Protests for punishment of the rapists of Delhi Gang-Rape Case of 2012

'The young blood' is way more vicious than the 'old blood'. Confidence and anger, often more than required, and the never-ending hunger for fun, whether good or pure evil, often results in unimaginable criminal activity. If you ever sit to compare the level of brutality of crimes by juveniles or adults, you would be horror-struck to see the atrocity of the formers.

The gruesome Delhi gang rape of 2012 involved a 17 and a half year old teenager, who was tagged ‘THE MOST BRUTAL’, I repeat, ‘THE MOST BRUTAL’ of the venomous people. Sadly, it is pretty opprobrious for our country that he would, undoubtly, get away in three years.

This incident ignited the fire, but the wood was being collected way before that. In 2011, 1149 rapes and many murders were committed by the juveniles, and two-thirds of them were aged between 16-18.

Our nation’s respected jury is blindfolded over this. But other countries did not dare to overlook such a delicate subject. The juvenile age limit is under 14 in Germany, 12 in Canada, 10 in Britain and surprisingly, 7 IN AMERICA. Then, why cannot our government wake up and have a perusal of the worsening situation?

Altamas Kabir and his league prefer age over crime, certainly. But the nation may suffer, as the juveniles may become impregnable than ever, leading to a sky-high rate of inadequately punished crime.

Chief Justice of India - Altamas Kabir
Chief Justice of India - Altamas Kabir
Juveniles deserve what they Bestow.
Juveniles deserve what they Bestow.

Our renowned jury is being amoral and insensitive. The question is, should we accept this, for we might be the next victim. This verdict will surely, debase our faith in the constitution, even if the 'constitution' itself has all the provisions to change laws according to necessity. I strongly believe that whether by a kid or an adult, a crime is always a crime. And whoever opposes me, I am dead sure that when he or she experiences the harsh realities of these 'children' and suffers their cruelty, they would be of my opinion, isn't it. Giving them such 'privileges' has already convulsed the nation, but now, THEY OUGHT TO GET WHAT THEY DESERVE AND BESTOWN.

A child's mind develops till the age of 18-21
A child's mind develops till the age of 18-21

Against the Motion

A crime is a crime, whether committed by a kid or an adult. But why do kids commit crimes? A 'criminal child' should be punished according to his degree of crime, not according to his age. But then why do you punish your 11 year old and 22 year old child differently at your home, when he or she does something wrong? My opposition agrees with my statements, but can they answer my questions?

So, why do you treat you children differently when their ages differ? Why aren’t under 18 people allowed to vote, get married and work? This is because we all are aware, which is scientifically proven too, that they are not mature enough to act wisely, they are unripe to act prudently, they are inexperienced to handle adverse situations discerningly, and their thought process is not fully developed. Then what is point of saying that juveniles should be trialed as adults, for they ARE mature? Emotions should never be the base of right and wrong, for its consequences may be fatal.

Adults have an ample number of ways to reduce their stresses like drinking and smoking.
Adults have an ample number of ways to reduce their stresses like drinking and smoking.

Why do kids commit crimes? The bitter truth is, today's materialistic world does not care about and lacks in moral values. Obviously, parents lack in them as well. We, as children, follow our parents. Children, particularly adolescents, undergo peer pressure, lack of direction, illiteracy, parental pressure and impulsiveness. The adults have an ample number of ways to tackle their own stresses, like drinking and smoking. Being avaracious, most of the parents are deeply involved in acts of aggression and fights in the house, for their lust of property and money never ends. Recall that when you read a newspaper early morning, how many times you come across the news of a brother killing his sister, father, son and mother, just for acquiring property and wealth. If adults, being 40 or above, cannot understand what is right or wrong, then how can we expect the children to understand it. Inculcating moral values and teaching kids about not handling something that is dangerous or getting them to understand the consequences of their actions is the job of the parents. If they fail to do so, the children will not understand. And we know the aftermath of this behaviour. Improper guidance and ignorance may turn them into a criminal.

The juvenile crime has increased in Canada after the act reducing the juvenile age from 18 to 12 was passed
The juvenile crime has increased in Canada after the act reducing the juvenile age from 18 to 12 was passed

Coming to the facts and the outcome of giving severe punishment to juveniles, let us consider the example of Canada, where the juvenile age has been reduced from 18 to 12 now. Studies reveal that before the responsible act was passed, 9% juveniles committed crime again after rehabilitation. But now, 82% of them committed crime again after they were trialed as adults and released, which is a whooping 73% higher than before. Previously in Canada, the average number of crimes committed by a juvenile was 1. But now, a juvenile tends to commit 3 to 4 crimes in his lifetime. Imagine, if we imply the same rule in our country, we would not be benefited. Instead it would lead to a higher rate of crime than ever. This is only because their mental levels are different.

Children repress their feeling of guilt when imprisoned.
Children repress their feeling of guilt when imprisoned.

Adults remorse when they commit a crime and serve sentences like life imprisonment. But the case of children is altogether different. They instead repress their feeling of guilt, which makes it a tragic situation. As their minds are developing, they become accustomed to what the see and feel. So they do not feel guilty after committing a crime, which usually retains a person from involving in such activities. So the juveniles punished as adults tend to grow into a heartless creature in the future, for whom a crime is just like brushing your teeth every day.

I know a crime is a crime. Once a person is dead, he cannot be brought back. But to handle such a delicate matter, we ought to have a wider view. If we consider Canada's example, and imagine a similar act passed in India, the scenario would be a crisis. In order to save 18 people, one cannot ignore the lives of 82 of them. I repeat, passing this kind of act would make the matters worser than ever.

If we see and unwanted plant, we do not cut leaves or branches of them. Instead, we uproot it. Similarly, reducing juvenile age is no solution. The parents and violent surroundings are the root cause. If adults abandon their profane attitude, I guarantee you that the day is not far when the faith in the 'innocent children' would dwell in our hearts, once again and forever

Always remember, THE NIGHT IS DARK, ONLY TO UNVEIL THE SPLENDOR OF THE GLORIOUS, BRIGHT AND SHINING SUN, TOMORROW

That's all, from my side friends, and I sincerely hope, that you, along with me, WOULD SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE.

The Night is Dark, Only to Unveil the Splendor of the Glorious, Bright and Shining Sun Tomorrow.
The Night is Dark, Only to Unveil the Splendor of the Glorious, Bright and Shining Sun Tomorrow.

In your opinion, should juveniles be given adult punishments for adult crimes?

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© 2013 Abhinav Narang

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      swati yadav 2 years ago

      Yes they should be punished its a crime.....if they dont know its meaning...then why they do....crime is a crime if it is a small or big one

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      Abhinav Narang 3 years ago from Amritsar, Punjab, India

      Thanks for your comment, Nick!

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      Nick 3 years ago

      Yes, juveniles should be given adult punishment and treated harshly.