Chennai: Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Sunday said juveniles accused of heinous crimes like rape should be treated on par with adult offenders.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, she said according to the police, 50 per cent of all sexual crimes were committed by "16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act so they can do it."
"But now for premeditated murder, rape, if we bring them into the purview of the adult world, then it will scare them," she said.
Former Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath during the previous UPA regime had proposed that juveniles above 16 years guilty of heinous crimes be treated on par with adult offenders.
The move was however opposed by various NGOs and National Commission of Protection of Child Rights which stated that such a proposal was against child rights.