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The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children)Act,2015

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written by - Pakala Chaitanya Sai, Bodapati Yasaswini


Introduction


The Juvenile Justice Act has to be amended for the protection of children/juvenile. The Act places juvenile/children in two categories-Juvenile in ‘conflict with the law’ handled by the state government or juvenile boards. ‘Children in need of care and protection' to be looked after by the state government or Children welfare committees. Hence certain changes were brought up.

Changes in the Juvenile Justice act, 2015


  • The act made a change in the nomenclature from ‘juvenile’ to ‘child/ child in conflict of law’ across the board.


  • It was made that the juveniles 16 years or older are to be tried as adults, if they commit henious offences[1] like rape and murder. Which are punishable with seven or more years of imprisonment. The Children below 18 are treated equally except 16-18 years as said.


  • The Act also mandates to set up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare committees in every district. With at least one woman member.


  • The Act also lays down the eligibility criteria for adoptive parents while adoption. Certain rules were framed by the Central adoptive resources agency which are to be implemented by the state and district level agencies.


  • The act also an inclusion of new offences that are committed by the children


The Objective of the Act

  • It aims to lay down a legal structure for the Juvenile Justice in the country.


  • To make certain norms and standards for the administration of juvenile justice.


  • Also to make establish a proper coordination among the formal juvenile justice system and voluntary efforts for the welfare of juvenile.


  • To render a special approach to the protection and treatment of the child.


  • To constitute all the special offences that are committed by the child/juvenile.

Roles and Responsibilities of the State Government


An induction training provided by the act for the members of of the Juvenile Justice [2] and child welfare committee[3].It was even asked to submit the quarterly reports to the District Magistrate regarding the pendency and also the disposal of the case[4].In case of any non registration of a Child Care institution there be a penalty of one year imprisonment or fine of no less than 1 lakh[5].


The Act also provides periodic training to the concerned officers[6]and also the act ensures that the state government provides and spreads awareness among the general public, parents, guardians and children.


Children in Conflict with Law


The Juvenile Justice System towards children in conflict of law and also who need protection of law is strengthen by the new Act. Also ‘juvenile’is changed to ‘child’ throughout the Act. Offences committed are classified into petty/serious/henious offences are treated equally for all the children below 18 years of age , except for 16-18 years my be tried as adults in cases of henious offences. A separate and special arrangement and facilities are made in the trial of such children. Also Juvenile Justice Board conducts regular inspection to make sure that no juvenile is placed in the jail that meant for adults, if any they take immediate measures and shifts them to a Observation Home [7].


The Juvenile Justice Board ensures that the child who are tried as adults are given care and protection and also ensures that final order include the care plan for the rehabilitation of the child. And the decision to release the child before 21 years in in the hands of the Children’s Court.


Children in need of care and protection


The Act included the category of children who are in need ‘ Care and Protection’.


  • Children who are homeless or settled place of Adobe and who are without any means of subsistence


  • Those who are found working as child labour or in contraction of labour laws, or begging or living on the street; or


  • Who stays with a n injured, exploit, abused or who is neglected, or anyone who violated any other law for time being in force meant for the protection of the child.


  • Those who is mentally ill or mentally challenged and the said is suffering from any terminal illness or incurable disease, and who have no support or someone to look after.


  • Those who have such a parent or guardian who are unfit or incapable of taking care of the child.

Punishment Offences Committed against Children


The Juvenile Justice Act, includes a separate chapter regarding various offences committed towards children. This list of offences were so far adequately listed in any other law so far. Offences like child trafficking, illegal adoption, intoxication of the child, any corporal punishment in the care instructions, drugs or tobacco products, or kidnapping or abduction of the child are listed under the Act. If any said offence is committed the punishment can last from three months to three years of imprisonment depending on the offence committed, or a penalty of Rs 1 lakh sometimes both.


Rehabilitation and Social Integration


The prime and major objective of a Children’s Home or specialized adoption / open shelter is restoration and protection of a child. A family based care protection is provided in case of conflict of law , and also a proper care plan shall be prepared by the child care instructions. A financial support is provided to the children who attain 18 years of age , who are leaving the child care instruction.


Monitoring


The implementation of the provisions of the Act are mandated to be monitored by the National and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, as mentioned in the Juvenile Justice Act,2015[8].

Case Laws


  • Union of India vs. Ramesh Bishnoi [9]

Facts and Judgement


The appeal is that, the appellants (Union of India) denying the appointment on the Sub Inspector post of the respondent (even though selected), on the grounds of a criminal case having been registered in the past against the respondent. It is clear from the facts that the respondent is minor at that time the charges were framed. Even if the allegations on the respondent were found to be true, then too the respondent could not have been deprived of getting into the post of Sub Inspector on the basis of such charges as the respondent was juvenile.


MOHAMMED BIN ZIYAD vs. THE STATE OF TELANGANA ON 21 JUNE, 2021[10]


Facts and the Judgement


The allegations against the petitioner are that, on 10-04-2021 at around 8.15 pm, the Petitioner went to a girl’s house when her mother went out to a grocery store, started misbehaving with her. The girl escaped from the petitioner even though he was attacking her. And reported to her mother over phone. When the girl’s mother returned from the grocery store the petitioner with his friends attacked her by touching inappropriately. The petitioner herein aged about 17 years claiming to be a juvenile, filed an application under section – 438 of CrPC. seeking anticipatory bail. The final judgement includes ensuring that the child’s rights are protected throughout the process of apprehending the child, inquiry, aftercare and Rehabilitation under section 4, section 7, section 8.


Conclusion


Children of that age are considered to be vulnerable. They are at a high risk of being exploration, abuse, neglect and violence. Here there is a high chance to raise a question about the capability of the child protecting himself against various offences. This Juvenile Justice Act ensures to take care and provide protection that a child need. The Act specifies and fulfills the need of laws in case of the offences committed by the children. Also the Act made a proper care plan throughout the child being tried.

[1]The Juvenile Justice Act 2015(Act 2 of 2016), Section 15. [2]The Juvenile Justice Act 2015(Act 2 of 2016),Section 4. [3]The Juvenile Justice Act,2015( Act 2 of 2016), Section 27. [4]The Juvenile Justice Act,2015( Act 2 of 2016),Section 36. [5]The Juvenile Justice Act,2015(Act 2 of 2016), Section 42. [6]The Juvenile Justice Act,2015(Act 2 of 2016), Section 108. [7]Juvenile Justice Act,2015( Act 2 of 2016), Section 8(3)(m). [8]The Juvenile Justice Act,2015(Act 2 of 2016), Section 109. [9]2019 latest case law 117 sc. [10]The Criminal Act, 1960,Section 12.

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