“Jum jeet gaya, hum haar gaye” (Crime has won and we have lost), was the tearful reaction of Delhi gang rape victim Nirbhaya’s mother after the Delhi High Court refused to stop the release of the former-juvenile convict in the case. I am sure anyone who knows about the fate of Nirbhaya would agree that justice has not been served by the Court in this case and that a criminal who destroyed the life of a young girl and the dreams of her family has been set free. Nirbhaya, a young medical student, was brutally gang raped in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, and later succumbed to internal injuries. The youngest convict in the case, who fell only a few months short of adulthood when this gruesome incident took place, was released recently as according to the existing Juvenile Justice Act requires juvenile offenders to spend only three years in a special home, and thereafter left free. The statute does not distinguish between juvenile offenders guilty of heinous crimes and those in care homes for lesser offences. The statute banks on the legal fiction that all juveniles commit crime without intention and need to be reformed. Such consideration for juveniles come considering that the young person is not aware of the consequences of his action. But, I believe, in case of rape, murder, etc., crimes usually committed by adults, it is extremely difficult to conceive that the juvenile was not aware of the consequences. Also, there is no room for doubt that the former-juvenile in Nirbhaya case knew of what diabolic crime he was doing, as he was just months away from legally reaching the adult age. I believe that the dilemma of the Court in being forced to follow the existing obsolete law once again exposes the weak links and narrow limits of our judicial system and calls for immediate amendment of the same to suit the post-modern times. Laws are instruments to facilitate justice and not loopholes to escape from punishment. It is consoling to note that the Juvenlile Justice Bill has been floored and passed by the Parliament recently, prescribing that juveniles aged 16-18 and accused of heinous offences, as in this case, should be tried as adults. It is to be remembered that the former juvenile released now was the most brutal among the group that committed the gruesome rape. It comes across as the law here is bent on protecting a hardcore criminal’s ‘rights’ while forgetting the injustice meted out on the young medical student and her family. Releasing the convict to walk free, grinning at the Judiciary, victims’s kin and the rest of society, is in my strong opinion just an encouragement, a licence to all those under 18 years to commit any gruesome crime, including rape and murder, and go scot free. The question is not just about justice for Nirbhaya, but for every girl who is unsafe in a country which has such laws. I believe this case should also be an eye-opener to the makers of the law to consider the post-modern social scenario while drafting laws. Information explosion and easy internet accessibility exposes kids to pornographic and other criminal content at a very early age. According to various studies, average age of first internet exposure to pornography is 11 yrs and 16-18 yr olds having viewed porn online records to over 90%. This is an indication that our children know ‘what is’, ‘what should’ and ‘what should not’ at an early age than the earlier generations would. And, therefore, age shouldn’t be the parameter to determine punitive measures for heinous crimes. Rather, trial should be taken up case to case and punishment awarded accordingly beyond age considerations. More research concerning the potential impact of Internet pornography on youth and measures to tackle this new-age challenge are warranted. However, blaming it on circumstances alone is no solution. In the balance of morality and justice it doesn’t suffice to acquit the young convict of the gruesome crime he has done. Severe punishment, therefore, is one way to send out the message to the rest of the society to refrain from committing crimes against women. Nirbhaya is a symbol. Let her story not be told as a lost battle for justice!