MUMBAI: Shiv Sena Member of Parliament Priyanka Chaturvedi has written to Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani to express dissatisfaction over the recent amendment to Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2021. The Act classifies serious offences against children as non-cognisable. According to Chaturvedi, the changes in the law will have adverse impact on children’s safety.
“On one hand, the government talks of ‘Beti Bachao , Beti Padhao’, but on the other, it brings forward an amendment that will ensure no FIR’s are registered in serious offences against children except with special permission from the judicial magistrate. This recent amendment to the act will have a devastating impact on children as it shields the perpetrators who employ and exploit children for begging, labour, and smuggling drugs,” she writes in the letter.
Chaturvedi opines that the “blunder” would not have happened if the government had engaged in meaningful pre-legislative consultation.
“I am at loss to understand the rationale of the Government’s decision to classify even the sale and procurement of children and their use by militant organisations as non-cognisable. This catastrophic blunder would not have happened if the Government had engaged in meaningful pre-legislative consultation and examination by a select committee,” she adds.
The Shiv Sena leader also accused the government of reducing the crime data by suppressing the registration of FIRs. “It is crucial to reduce crime against children, but merely reducing the data by suppressing the registration of FIRs would only prove counterproductive and is a gross injustice to the Constitution and the children,” she states.
“Therefore, I urge you to rectify this amendment and restore the cognisable status of these offences,” Chaturvedi concludes.