Minors are victims of society, High Court says

Cancel detention of 15-year-old boy accused of impregnating 17-year-old girl

Cancel detention of 15-year-old boy accused of impregnating 17-year-old girl

Minors involved in crimes are not criminals. In fact, they are victims of society, the Madras High Court has ruled and overturned a 2021 Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) order detaining a 15-year-old boy for three years in a special government home for having allegedly impregnated a 17-year-old girl working with him in a showroom on the outskirts of Chennai.

Judge AD Jagadish Chandira said that the facts of the case show that an infatuation between two teenagers was assigned a criminal color and one of them was punished. The criminal complaint was filed five months later when the drunken boy questioned the paternity of the unborn child.

Lamenting that the JJB failed to follow investigative procedures under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, the judge said the detention order was made simply on the basis of reported confessions of the minor in conflict with the law. The Commission had not even determined the exact age of the victim.

“If it had been proven that she was over 18 on the date the offense occurred, the scenario would have been the reverse,” the judge said. Even otherwise, consensual sex between minors continues to be a “legal gray area” because consent given by a minor was not considered valid consent in the eyes of the law, he pointed out. .

Noting that the age of consent to sex varies from 14 to 18 in different countries, the judge said the United States has the “Romeo and Juliet clause” which allows a person to have consensual sex with a minor provided they are not more than a certain number of years apart in age.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a 14 year old can give consent to have sex with an adult and a 12 year old can give consent to have sex with other teenagers as long as they don’t be no more than two years than the other. In the UK, the legal age of consent for heterosexual relationships was 16.

In India, the JJ Act was enacted to implement a liberal approach aimed at reforming and rehabilitating minors in conflict with the law. “Therefore, punishing an underage boy for entering into a relationship with an underage girl, while both are under the influence of their hormones and biological changes, runs counter to the principles of the best interests of society. ‘child,’ the judge said.

About Timothy Ball

Check Also

The Lake County Genealogical Society hears about the 1950 census

The next meeting of the Lake County Genealogical Society will be from 10 a.m. to …