Sunday 12 July 2020

Notable Thought on the objective of Juvenile Justice Act

Merely on the premise that the offence is heinous and that it lends to the societal volatility of indignation, we are bracing for juvenile recidivism. Retributive approach vis-à-vis juveniles needs to be shunned unless there are exceptional circumstances, involving gross moral turpitude and irredeemable proclivity for the crime. Condemned, any juvenile is going to be a mere numeral in prison for a lifetime; reformed, he may redeem himself and may become a value addition to the Society. Let no child be condemned unless his fate is foreordained by his own destructive conduct. For this, a single incident not revealing wickedness, human depravity, mental perversity, or moral degeneration may not be enough. Just deserts are more than mere retribution.

99. The Society, or restrictively the aggrieved person, views any problem ex post; it wants a wrong to be righted or remedied to the extent possible. The courts, especially the Courts of Record, view the same problem ex ante. "It involves looking forward and asking what effects the decision about this case will have in the future"16. To be more accurate, the courts balance both perspectives. I reckon Section 15 of the Act requires us to balance both the competing perspectives: ex post and ex ante.


Criminal Appeal No. 1153 of 2018, Criminal Writ Petition No. 1346 of 2018 and Criminal Application No. 262 of 2018 in Writ Petition No. 1346 of 2018

Decided On: 15.07.2019

Mumtaz Ahmed Nasir Khan  Vs.  The State of Maharashtra 

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

Dama Seshadri Naidu, J.
Read full judgment here: Click here
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