In the Delhi gangrape case it is reported that one of the accused is a 17 year old boy. By virtue of being less than 18 years of age this person is expected to escape punishment that he rightly deserves. This needs to raise the issue of whether our law regarding defining “Minority” needs a review.
In the current age, several things have undergone a change. It is well known that the exposure of today’s youngsters are wider than in earlier times. There is a demand for sex education in the high schools. In Computer knowledge there is no doubt that todays sub teens are actually mature adults in terms of computer knowledge.
In view of the changing times both in terms of Cyber Crimes as well as other crimes there is a need for reducing the age of attainment of majority from 18 to at least 16. More appropriately “Attaining Majority” can be linked to the context. For example, while today’s boys can be considered as “Majors” for most legal purposes at the age of 16, in respect of Cyber Crimes there is a case for reducing it still further. However since some research may be required to fix different age limits for attaining majority for different purposes, 16 years can be considered as an immediate desirable level at the present times.
In US for several aspects 16 years is the age at which a person is considered as an “Emancipated Minor”. Similar concept should be tried in India also.