The Indian parliament has passed a bill which allows juveniles between 16 and 18 years of age to be tried as adults for serious crimes like rape or murder.

At present, those under 18 can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reform facility.

According to BBC News, the move to change the law gathered momentum after the youngest convict in the notorious 2012 Delhi gang rape was recently released from detention.

The Juvenile Justice Bill was passed today by the upper house of the parliament after having been approved by the lower house in May.

It will now have to be signed by the president to become law – which, correspondents say, is a mere formality.

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