New Delhi, July 23: Justice Madan B Lokur, the chairman of the Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Committee, has said that juvenile convicts cannot be handed down capital punishment in every case pertaining to heinous crimes such as rape and murder.
He said judgement in such cases had to be delivered on the basis of evidence.
"It is not that for every murder, for every rape, the only penalty is death penalty. I mean, we are not savages in this country," the SC judge said.
"Just because the person happens to be 17 years old or close to 18 years old, commits a heinous crime - therefore he must get the death penalty, it cannot be like that. You have to still work on the basis of evidence and come to some conclusion," Justice Lokur said.
He was speaking yesterday at the Fourth Western Regional Consultation on Effective Implementation of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 held here.
On Protection of Children from Sexual Offences courts, Justice Lokur said studies reveal that "perhaps" these courts were "not functioning as well as they should".
"Are the POCSO courts functioning well ? Are they not functioning well? You know, studies have been done (which) indicate that perhaps the POCSO courts are not functioning as well as they should. What are the reasons? What are the challenges?" he asked.
He stressed the importance of sensitisation of special courts hearing cases related to children and juveniles.
Justice Lokur said that the Child Rights Protection Commission, states and the Centre should work together to tackle the huge number of cases of missing children as well as those related to child labour and child trafficking.
Among those present at the function were Supreme Court Judge Dipak Gupta, MP High Court Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and other legal luminaries.