As far as the role of minor is concerned in Nirbhaya’s case, he committed a heinous crime, deserving a death penalty or life imprisonment without considering his age. But simply sending him in reformatory home for 3 years is sort of denial of justice to the innocent Nirbhaya.
The legal age at which a person is considered to be a juvenile varies from place to place. In most countries it is under 17 years of age. Some countries allow youngsters who are young enough for juvenile-court handling to be tried by regular criminal courts under certain circumstances.
The age of the most brutal rapist in Nirbhaya's case was over 17 years but below 18 years, as per the juvenile court. And so he has been given just three years of imprisonment in a reformatory home, despite being the most brutal of all the six, according to the police.
Juvenile delinquency is regarded as a serious social problem in many countries. It has caused increasing public concern, but it is by no means a new problem. Young people have formed violent local gangs in American cities during the 1800's, and delinquency rates were reported to be rising during the early 1900's.
Delinquency is found in all nations and is particularly widespread in highly urbanized countries that have large cities.
By not giving a tough punishment to the so called minor boy in Nirbhaya's case will indirectly encourage him and the other like minded youths, to commit such heinous crimes. Laws are not for safeguarding criminals, they exist for welfare of the public.
Actually the number of rapes cases reported to the police increased dramatically in many countries including India during the 1980's. However, officials estimate that the actual number of rapes committed may be more than ten times the number reported.
Many rape victims do not report the crime to the police because of shame/fear. Some victims fear of being asked embarrassing questions by the police, later, in courtrooms etc. Many rapists threaten to kill their victims if the women go to the police. As we recently saw in the case of self-styled godman Asaram, who is accused of sexually molesting a minor girl.