NEW DELHI: A child rights NGO said today that juveniles in conflict with the law should be given a chance at reformation, days after a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) ordered that a 16-year-old student accused of murder of a junior in a Gurgaon school would be tried as an adult.
"We keep on lowering the age and denying juveniles a chance at reformation by trying them as adults. It's not wise to keep on blaming juveniles for crime. It is time to invest in making our juvenile justice system work strongly," NGO Save the Children said in a statement.
It is unfortunate that India is witnessing cases of criminalisation of children, it said.
The JJB had on December 20 held that the 16-year-old student of Ryan International School would be tried as an adult. The next hearing in the case in a trial court will be held on January 6.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 lowers the age of juveniles from 18 years to 16 years for heinous crimes such as rape, murder and dacoity-cum- murder, which warrant at least seven years of imprisonment.
Pradyuman was found with his throat slit in the school's washroom. The Gurgaon Police had said the crime was committed by a school bus conductor, which the CBI later refuted.
The CBI claimed the teenager had killed Pradyuman in a bid to get the school closed so that a scheduled parent- teacher meeting and an examination could be deferred.