Reduce age of juvenility to 16: Delhi top cop

Delhi gangrape

In first remarks on the debate over reducing the age of juvenility, Delhi Police today said it is in favour of amending the law to reduce it from the existing 18 to 16 years. A juvenile is among six arrested for the gangrape and torture of a 23-year-old woman who later died in a Singapore hospital, thirteen days after she was assaulted on board a bus in south Delhi on December 16.

Speaking at the annual press conference of the Delhi Police, Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said: "The incident has forced us as a country to look at various things afresh, including the Juvenile Justice Act, whether the age of juveniles should be 14, 16 or 18 years. The Delhi Police feels the age should be 16 years."

He said the department has written to the authorities concerned, recommending a reduction in the age of juvenility. He made these remarks in response to a query on whether the juvenile involved in the gangrape case would get away with a lighter sentence.

Police claim it was the juvenile who lured the woman and her male friend into the bus and was the most aggressive of the lot during the assault. Police are seeking permission from the juvenile justice board for an ossification test to establish whether the accused is a juvenile. If the test proves he is not a juvenile, he will be tried in a regular court with the other five men arrested in the case.

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