juvenile justice act
Young inmates of a government-run juvenile remand home watch an event attended by Bollywood star Salman Khan in Mumbai September 15, 2009. The remand home houses children who have committed petty crimes or have run away from home. [Representational Image]Reuters

There was massive public outrage when it first became apparent that the sole juvenile accused in the infamous 2012 Delhi gang-rape and murder case might not receive as strict a punishment as the rest for the brutalities inflicted on Jyoti Singh. 

There may be cause for even more outrage now, with government data revealing that despite stricter laws to bring down crimes against women, a juvenile was caught every four hours of 2016 on charges of rape. 

In fact, according to data from the Union Home Ministry, this has been the case for the past three years on an average!

Similarly, every two hours a juvenile is apprehended for assaulting women with intent to outrage their modesty.

As per the data, which was quoted by the Times of India, 2,054 juveniles were arrested for rape and 1,627 were apprehended for assaulting women between January 1 and December 31, 2016.

The shocking part is that the number of juveniles held for rape has been the same for the last three years — at one arrest every four hours. Between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2016, around 6,039 juveniles were arrested for such crimes. 

Meanwhile, the number of juveniles arrested for assaulting women saw a rise in 2016 compared to the data of the previous three years.

According to the Times of India report, one juvenile was charged every two hours for assaulting women in 2016. The data reveals that between January 1, 2014 and Decemeber 31, 2016, a total of 4,997 such cases were registered.

Earlier, the Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir had said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha that the number of crimes committed by juveniles in Delhi was 2,499, a small rise from 2,366 in 2015.

The number of juveniles apprehended by the Delhi Police in 2016 was 3,808, more than in 2015.

According to a Hindustan Times report, 155 rapes in Delhi were allegedly committed by juveniles in 2016 and 119 in 2015.