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NHRC must comment on rights of rape victims: Nirbhaya’s parents

NHRC

New Delhi : Dismissing the statement of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that the age from 18 to 16 years would be against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Nirbhaya’s parents on Sunday termed it ‘unfortunate’, adding that the government and the NHRC must comment on the rights of the victims.

“It is unfortunate that they have made such a statement. The government and the National Human Rights Commission must comment on the rights of the victims,” Nirbhaya’s mother told ANI.

She further said that the statement of the NHRC is not in the benefit of the nation.

“What about the right of the victim? When injustice is being done to girls, then what happens to the Human Rights? Why don’t they go to the victims and save them? It seems only the criminals have human rights and not the victims,” she added.

Nirbhaya father said, “What about the juvenile who commits crime? What about the right of the victim who is being tortured? They are misleading and fooling the people.”

Questioning the rationale that led Parliament to pass a new Juvenile Justice Bill, that lowers the age of juveniles who can be tried as adults from 18 to 16 years in cases of heinous offences, former National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan said the rights panel had opposed the move.

“We told the government that reducing the age from 18 to 16 years would be against the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which India ratified in 1992. We also said that at 16 years, the boy is still a child who is in his formative years. If he is sent to jail, after trial in an ordinary criminal court, there is no likelihood of any reformation and he would come out a hardened criminal. So, we said we should be very careful before reducing the age to 16 years,” he said.

Paving the way for a new juvenile system in which the age of criminal culpability will now be 16 years, subject to some conditions, the Rajya Sabha earlier this week passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015. (ANI)