New Delhi: As debate continues on whether the age of juveniles should be reduced to 16 from 18 years, a child rights organisation on Monday cautioned against any such move saying it may have "serious consequences" on crime prevention and well-being of children.

Child Fund India argued that any move to amend the Juvenile Justice Act will have "dangerous consequences" on the plight of lakhs of other juveniles.

The chorus on reducing the age of juveniles grew louder after the December 16 incident in which a paramedical student was brutally gangraped by six people including a minor.

The minor, it is believed, enticed the girl and her male friend to board the bus in which she was sexually assaulted.  
"We are all socked by the heinous crime committed on the girl. But ChildFund India believes that the demand to reduce the age of a juvenile to 16, if accepted, will have dangerous consequences on the plight of lakhs of other juveniles," said Dola Mohapatra, national director of ChildFund India.

Mohapatra's argument is that a single incident should not be a reason to change the law.

"Such a move might do away with the mental health and psychological support a juvenile should have received. It may lead to serious repercussions on crime prevention and well- being of children in the country," he said.


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