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Plea moved in Supreme Court challenging recently-passed juvenile law

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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the recently-passed juvenile law that allows delinquent minors of 16 years of age and above to be tried as adults if they commit heinous offences like rape and murder.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, cleared in the winter session of Parliament, repeals and recasts the old Act.

The PIL, filed by Congress leader and activist Tahseen Poonawalla, said that the new law is unreasonable, arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution.

It challenges section 15 of the new Act which says in case of a heinous offence alleged to have been committed by a child, who has completed or is above the age of 16 years, the Juvenile Justice Board shall conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine whether a juvenile offender is to be sent for rehabilitation or be tried as an adult.

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