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This article is written by Sri Vaishnavi.M.N., a first-year student of Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Vishakapatanam and Rohit Raj, a Student pursuing B.A.LLB. (Hons.) from Lloyd Law College. In this article, the authors discuss the historical evolution of the Juvenile Justice Act in India, how the Act provides institutionalized and non-institutionalised care for Juveniles, the concept of Juvenile and what is considered as Juvenile Justice Board and how it works and their procedure of prosecution.

Introduction

In order to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as ratified by India on 11 December 1992, the Juvenile Justice Act has been promulgated. The procedural guarantees applicable to children in conflict with the law are specified in this law. The current law addresses the problems of the existing law, such as delays in adoption processes, the high number of pending cases, the accountability of institutions, and so on.

The law also addresses the growing number of crimes committed by children aged 16 to 18 in recent years and by children in conflict with the law. Since January 15, 2016, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has come into force. It repeals the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

If a child is found guilty of committing a crime, then the Juvenile justice board takes several measures regarding the minor’s reformation and they are as follows:

  • Allow the child to return home after proper advice and caution regarding the crime that the child has committed and what is the punishment of that crime as per the provisions of law.
  • Juvenile justice boards sometimes also instruct the children to engage in social work and social welfare so that this engagement can help in imparting good social values in the accused child. 
  • It also makes children busy in group counselling and group activities as much as possible so that the child can learn the value of working together and can learn how to cooperate with each other in a society. 
  • If the child has committed a grave crime then, in that case, the child can be sent to the reform house for a minimum of 3 years or it can be exceeded if required. 
  • Sometimes the Juvenile justice board releases the convicted child on trial if the child is seen to exhibit good conduct towards the society or an individual. 

The Historical Evolution of Juvenile Justice Act in India

To know more about introduction and overview of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015, please watch the video below:

The United Nations Minimum Rules for Administration of Juvenile Justice of 1985 ratified by the United Nations Member States in Beijing in 1985, also known as the Beijing Rules, set out the rules, general principles and rules governing investigation and prosecution, adjudication, delivery, non-institutional treatment and institutional treatment. Two essential concepts are explained in these principles. They are-

  1. Diversion– If children are treated in the criminal justice system, stigmatizing criminality increases the authority of the child, whose authority has been established from Rule 11 of the Criminal Code. Therefore, these principles aim at minimizing the contact of minors with the criminal justice system. To divert the child from the system, the second part of the rule legitimizes police officers, prosecutors and other authorities. This is why juvenile court judges do not wear the black coat and other judicial officials also try not to be as formal and put the child or minor at ease.
  2. Detention– A deliberate sentence imposed on minors but imposed for the shortest possible period and called “detention as a last resort”.

IPC and CrPC effect in Juvenile Justice

IPC and CrPC have a huge effect in dealing with the crime of minors in Juvenile Justice. We have seen in the above arguments how sections of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 explain about the whole constitution of Juvenile justice board and explain in detail about the requirement needed to be a member of Juvenile justice board and in what circumstances they can be terminated.  But, IPC and CrPC also play a major role in deciding the cases of a juvenile by proper implementation of sections of Criminal law. 

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 demarcates the punishment of a child, on the basis of age. According to Section 82 of IPC, “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.” And, Section 83 of IPC clearly states that “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child who is above seven years of age and under the age of 12 who has not attained sufficient maturity to understand the consequences of their actions. These both sections of IPC give a better view of the Juvenile justice board. 

In the context of CrPC, the code of criminal procedure talks about the jurisdiction of juveniles through the help of Section 27. According to Section 27 of CrPC, any offence committed by a person who is below the age of 16 whose punishment does not include death or imprisonment will be dealt with the law which provides treatment, training, imparting good social values and rehabilitation of convicted minors.  

Another Section of CrPC which is most essential for Juveniles so that the juveniles can be benefited from it is Section 437 of  The Code of Criminal Procedure. According to this section, any child who is convicted of any crime can request or demand anticipatory bail which is maintainable in the High Court as well as the Court of Session.

However, since there are very few cases of anticipatory bail for minors, The Juvenile Justice Board finds it difficult to deliver judgments and thus making the system of anticipatory bails in case of minors, more time consuming than in the case of adults. 

Juvenile Justice System Comparison on Global level

Juvenile Justice is a concept which is prevalent in India as well as other Countries where the Juvenile Justice is on the rise. As above, the UN General Assembly adopted a Convention on the Rights of the Child and made the member state adhere to it and follow the rules and principles which were laid down in that convention for the security and protection of child rights and development of a child. 

 

  • The juvenile justice system in the US is a flexible, effective and most active system among all the countries. In India children who commit crime are put under trial and put in rehabilitation to reform the child and change his behaviour and teach the value of togetherness and other social values. But, in the US the juvenile is also treated as an adult if the age of juvenile is nearer to be adult or in the circumstances where the juvenile is a repeated offender. 

 

 

  • The juvenile justice system in the UK came in the year of 1908 in England and juvenile courts were set up in order to protect the rights of the children and care of the children. In the UK the Juvenile court also focuses on the negative element which is present in the society which affects the children to inhabit negative elements and commit crime towards the society as well as an individual. And to make this Juvenile justice more effective in the UK they came up with two acts i.e. Children and Young Offenders Act,1993 and Criminal Justice Act, 1948

 

The Children and Young Offenders Act, 1993 act provides immense powers to the juvenile court in the UK. Any child who commits offence will be put into trial in Juvenile court and not in any other court. Whereas, the Criminal Justice Act, 1948 deals with the rights of the minor offenders or juvenile offenders. The main motive of this act was to provide security to the juveniles and also protect the rights of juveniles. 

Juvenile Justice Act, 1986

Following the adoption of the United Nations Minimum Rules for Administration of Juvenile Justice of 1985, the term “minor” used in international law was coined for the first time. With the adoption of the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986, this change in terminology had a considerable effect on domestic law.

Before 1979, while Lakshadweep, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Chandigarh and Sikkim had the Children’s Act but they did not apply it. In the case of Assam and Himachal Pradesh, although the laws have been enforced, no institution has been created to deal with the same thing and Nagaland does not even have a separate law for children. The Children’s Acts have been applied in 236 of the 334 districts in the case of other Indian states. In the mid-1980s, out of 444 districts, the number of children’s laws was increased to four hundred and forty-two.

As from October 2, 1987, the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 was applied by notification in all areas where it was extended. The need is for uniform laws over time for juvenile justice throughout the country and for the need to implement uniform laws that are fulfilled by the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986. In addition, there are States with no law in the area of ​​justice of the sixteen, as well as uniformity at the national level. The Juvenile Justice Act, 1987 is nothing more than a full copy of the Children’s Act, 1960 which makes only minor and valueless changes here and there; some of them are as described below:

  1. A significant symbolic semantic change in the preamble, the words maintenance, social assistance, training and education, has been replaced by the words training and development. Similarly, the minor term has been replaced by the word child. The most benevolent and appropriate judgment of judgment on certain issues related to the trial rules and regulations.
  2. Section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 contains new definitions of a suitable person, a suitable institution and a safe place. A minor who was or was likely to be abused or exploited for illegal or immoral purposes or for an unjustified gain also included in the definition of a neglected child had been expanded to include.
  3. Section 10 of Juvenile Justice Act of 1986, does not change the current status of Section 11 of Juvenile Justice Act of 1986, which provides for the temporary reception of juveniles of all varieties in the juvenile justice system. the houses of observation, of their antecedents.
  4. Sections 52, 53 and 54 of Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 also provided for the establishment of social welfare and juvenile rehabilitation funds, the establishment of advisory councils and the appointment of visitors to juvenile institutions.

Juvenile Justice Act of 2000

The Indian legislator made a sincere effort in adopting the 2000 Act to inculcate the principles set out in the UN Conventions, such as the CRC, the Beijing Rules and the 1990 Rules. minors were promulgated to deal with offences committed by minors in a manner supposed to be different from the law applicable to adults according to the Supreme Court of India. The rehabilitation of the minor is the main concern of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000 and not the adversarial procedure to which the courts are generally accustomed. A complete change in the mentality of those with the power to do so is necessary for its implementation, without which it will be almost impossible to achieve its goals.

Applicability of the Act

The Supreme Court held that, to the extent that the appellant was concerned about the applicability of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 in the case of Jameel v. the State of Maharashtra[1]. Since the offence of unethical intercourse was committed in 1989, the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 was not enforced and it is not disputed that the appellant at the time of the accident had 16 years old.

A boy under the age of 16 or a girl under the age of 18 is considered a minor within the meaning of the Juvenile Justice Act 1986. Since the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000, the accused was over the age of 18, arguing that the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 would apply since the accused did not have attained the age of 18 on the date of the event, is not defensible. Notably, the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 is categorically unenforceable because the accused was 16 years old.

Non-applicability of any other Act for the time being in force

The Supreme Court ruled that regardless of the nature of the offence committed, juvenile justice law should prevail in juvenile cases in Raj Singh v. State of Haryana[2]. When the juvenile plea can be raised, at any time, even after the person has been convicted by the court of the first instance, the plea of a minor can be raised.

Juvenile Justice Board

Section 4 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 deals with the establishment and constitution of the council and also empowers the state government to establish a juvenile justice board for a district or group of districts. A child who has committed an offence may be brought before a member of the board if the board is not chaired in accordance with Section 5(2). Section 6(1) conferred on the Commission exclusive powers under the 2000 Juvenile Law in Conflict with the Law Act to hear all court proceedings.

Juveniles in conflict with the law

Observation points must be set up in each district or group of districts for the temporary reception of these minors for the duration of the survey. Special shelters must be set up to receive and rehabilitate these minors, which implies that orders have already been issued by a juvenile justice council in such cases in each district or group of districts. Given the physical/mental health and the nature of the offence, the minor must be classified according to his age.

Process

No juvenile may be housed in a police jail or in prison for any reason. Under Section 32, the Committee, any police officer or special juvenile police unit or designated police officer shall conduct an investigation in the manner prescribed upon receipt of a report and order send the child to the children’s home so that a quick inquiry can be conducted. the worker or child protection officer may be approved by the Committee, alone or on the report of a person or body referred to in subsection 32(1).

The investigation must be completed within four months of receipt of the order or within the shorter time limit set by the Committee under Section 32(1), and the deadline for the submission of the report of investigation may be extended. that the Committee may, depending on the circumstances and for reasons stated in writing, determine. If, after completion of the investigation, the Committee is of the opinion that the child has no apparent family or support, he or she may allow the child to remain in the children’s home until his/ her rehabilitation is found or until he reaches the age of 18.

Children’s home

The state government, alone or in association with one or more voluntary organizations, may establish and maintain homes in each district or group of districts, as the case may be, to accommodate children in need of care and protection. during free time. any investigation and thereafter for their care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation.

The state government may provide for the management of children’s homes, including the standards and the nature of the services they must provide, as well as the circumstances under which and the manner in which the certification of a children’s home or the recognition of a voluntary organization may be granted or withdrawn under rules made under this Act.

Inspection

Inspection committees may be appointed by the state government for the state, district and city children’s homes, as the case may be, for the period and for the prescribed purposes. It is prescribed that the inspection committee of a state, district or city must be composed of the number of representatives of the state government, the local authority, the committee, an organization volunteer and other medical experts and social experts. The operation of children’s homes can be monitored and evaluated by central and state governments during the period and through the persons and institutions designated by that government.

Juvenile Justice Act of 2015

The increase in the number of crimes (including rapes) committed by juveniles (aged 16 to 18) was the main reason to introduce the new legislation. More retributive than reforming, the new law raised several questions. The new law is considered retributive because it contains provisions for teenagers who commit a heinous crime (punishable by 7 years or more) must be tried as adults but in the juvenile court. The child found guilty of the heinous crime is sent to a safe place until the age of 21, after which he is transferred to prison. The children’s court ensures it. This means that the benefit of a child is not granted to the minor when found guilty of committing a heinous crime.

Many protesters criticized the new law on minors for being unconstitutional. The Court noted that in Rule 4 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, in the case of Pratap Singh v. the State of Jharkhand [3], one had to give all its importance to the moral and psychological elements even when responsible for a crime.

According to Professor Ved Kumari [4], if a 16-year-old commits a heinous crime and his is punishable by 7 years of imprisonment, he must be brought before the Juvenile Justice Council, which decides on the physical and mental capacity of the child; if the minor committed such an offence has the ability to understand the consequences of the offence and under what circumstances the offence was committed. This work of the Juvenile Justice Commission is difficult and there is a good chance of uncertainty.

Many activists have raised another problem, namely that the 2015 law violates the spirit of Article 20(1), which states that a person can not be sentenced to a harsher sentence than that which would have been applied to him or her. by the law of the country. Under the new law, if a sentenced minor reaches the age of 21 but has not completed his entire sentence, he can be sent to prison if deemed appropriate. This new law undermines the spirit of Article 20(1).

Salient Features of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015-

  • Definition of ‘child in need of care and protection’ expanded– Under the new law, the definition now also includes a child caught working in violation of labour law, with imminent risk of marriage before reaching the legal age for the same resides with a person who has threatened or threatened to hurt, exploit, abuse or neglect the child or to violate any other law, or whose parents or guardians are unable to care from him.
  • Child Welfare Committee is no longer the final authority in cases of children in need of care and protection– Anyone related to the child may apply to the district judge, who will review and make appropriate orders as a district judge. the authority of the Child Protection Committee.
  • Procedure for inquiry– Unlike children for whom production reports have been received, the Child Protection Committee must now investigate any child produced before it. Orphaned and delivered children are also included in the procedure.
  • An extensive definition of ‘adoption’ provided– The rights of the child have been recognized and a detailed definition of adoption has now been provided.

What are two categories of Children who are protected under the Juvenile Justice

Children in conflict with the law

The new law reinforces the approach of the juvenile justice system to children in conflict with the law as well as children in need of care and protection. The Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 redefined the “minor” in conflict with the law into a “child” in conflict with the law. Offences were classified as small/serious/ obnoxious. In the case of heinous crimes, children between the ages of 16 and 18 can be tried as adults after a preliminary assessment by the juvenile justice commission.

During the investigation, a child in conflict with the law will be temporarily sent to an observation house. Depending on age, sex, physical and mental state and the nature of the offence, the child will be isolated. A child will be placed in a special home if convicted of an offence by the Juvenile Justice Commission.

For children over the age of 18 or children aged 16 to 18 charged or convicted of committing a heinous crime, a security site will be established. for the children in the process of trial and the children who are convicted; the place of safety will have a separate layout and facilities. The juvenile justice commission will carry out a regular inspection of adult prisons to check whether a child is accommodated there and take immediate measures to transfer the child to the home of observation [Section 8(3)].

Within three months, the Juvenile Justice Council will make a preliminary assessment before referring the case to the juvenile court. The law stipulates that the final order must include an individual plan for the rehabilitation of the child, including a follow-up by the probation officer, the District Child Protection Unit or a worker. when the child is considered an adult by the juvenile court.

The juvenile court ensures that the child is kept in a safe place until the age of twenty-one.

The juvenile court must determine whether it should be transferred to prison or whether it has undergone reform changes and that it could be saved by incarceration once it reaches the age of death and the sentence is still pending. The law provides for a complete embargo on capital punishment or life imprisonment without the possibility of release for child offenders who are treated as adults by juvenile justice. The juvenile court decides whether the child should be released or sent to prison after reaching the age of 21.

Children in need of care and protection

Within 24 hours, a child in need of care and protection must be brought before the Child Protection Committee. The law provides for the compulsory declaration of a child separated from his guardian. Non-reporting was treated as a punishable offence. The child in need of care and protection is sent to the appropriate child protection institution and directed by the child protection committee under the direction of a social worker. Within 15 days, the social worker or child protection officer must conduct the social inquiry. At least 20 days a month. The child protection committees meet and the district magistrate conducts a quarterly review of the functioning of the child protection committee.

For care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation, a child in need of care and protection will be placed in a children’s home. Shelters open for children who need community support in the short term to protect them from abuse or keep them away from street life under the law. The Child Protection Committee could recognize an institution that is able to temporarily assume a child’s responsibility. The rehabilitation of orphans, abandoned or delivered children is taken care of by the Agency specialized in adoption.

What is the Institutional Care provided for the juveniles?

Rule 3 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules of 2007 states that “the institutionalization of a juvenile must be a measure of last resort after a reasonable inquiry and this also for the minimum possible duration”.

This replaced the twelfth fundamental principle of the juvenile justice system. Institutional care measures are as follows:

Observation Homes

Section 8 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 provides that the state government may establish and operate observation houses in each district or group of districts. A minor is temporarily received in these homes. For the duration of any investigation into them under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, minors are detained in observation houses. Minors are kept for a few weeks in the observation houses for the social study of minors.

The minor’s story is prepared by the probation officer during his brief stay at the observer’s home. The competent authority then decides, depending on the case, to keep them in the institution or to entrust them to their parents. During the stay in the establishment, medical and psychiatric services were also provided, as well as basic equipment such as food, clothing and accommodation for minors. To keep the mind and body healthy, young people should water the plants, help in the kitchen and clean the premises of the shelter.

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Special Homes

Section 9 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, states the state government may establish and maintain special homes in each district or group of districts. When the offence committed by a minor is proven and condemned by the competent authority, it is placed in the special home established by the state governments. In the special home, minors are treated for a long time or until their age ceases.

The ultimate goal of the rehabilitation of juveniles in the homes under the Juvenile Justice (Protection and Protection of Children) Act of 2000 has therefore been implemented to ensure that all necessary efforts are made to change the of juveniles. minors of evil to good. Special shelters for minors pay more attention to the education and vocational training of minors. Minors receive food, clothing, shelter, medical and psychiatric services, and counselling.

Children’s Home

Section 34 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 states “The state government may establish and maintain children’s homes in each district or group of districts.” The children’s home is a home where children in need of care and protection are placed on the order of a competent authority.

In accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Protection and Protection of Children) Act of 2000 of the Children’s Home, children are provided with all the services necessary for overall development up to a fairly high age, that is, until ‘at 18 years old. Services include the provision of food, clothing, shelter, medical and psychiatric treatment, including counselling and referral. Education and vocational training are also provided to children.

Shelter Homes

According to Section 37 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, Shelters Homes as for children in need of urgent support. Shelter homes provide children with space where they can play and engage in creative activities. Children are engaged in music, dance, theatre, yoga and meditation, computers, indoor and outdoor games, etc, to spend their time productively. These creative activities are designed to encourage meaningful participation and interaction among peer groups.

These activities will ensure the overall growth and development of children. The main purpose of these shelters is to keep them away from socially deviant behaviours, in addition to meeting their basic needs for food, nutrition and health. Children can safely keep their property and income in the conditions provided for in these shelters.

What is the Non-Institutional Care provided for the juveniles?

Section 40 in The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 talks about the process of rehabilitation and social reintegration. The rehabilitation and social reintegration of a child must begin during his stay in a children’s home or special home monitoring organization.

Foster Care

Foster care is one of the non-institutional measures used for the temporary placement of children in accordance with Section 42 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000. Homeless, abandoned, neglected and deprived children benefit from a foster family. He replaces parents with others to provide care outside their own home. The child is placed in foster care when natural parents are faced with problems such as sentencing, life-threatening illnesses and being abroad. The actual parents pay the corresponding price.

Foster parents are generally interested in childcare. In the foster home, the child receives parental care and parenting education. Being placed in a foster home helps to avoid the stigma of being in an institution and adapting to other children. It is considered satisfactory in every way possible. Although foster families lead to drastic changes in the child’s life and are enough to change their behaviour, the foster family is solely responsible for the overall development of the children.

Adoption

Restoring family care for children deprived of their real family life Adoption is another non-institutional measure. Section 2(2) of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 defines adoption as the process by which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and becomes the legal child of his adoptive parents with all rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached to a biological child.

Adoption is done with the mutual consent of the family, who hands over the child and who receives the child. By adoption, the child receives a new name, a legal status and a permanent family. It also meets the needs of a childless couple. Adoption gives hope to many orphaned, neglected, abandoned and abused children by their parents to start a new family. The main purpose of adoption placement is rather a family for the child than a child for a family.

For the orphan child who is legally free to adopt, it is the most ideal and permanent rehabilitation. Adoption and foster care are intended to give family life to the child, but the main difference is that foster care is a temporary placement, even perhaps in the long term, but that adoption ensures permanent care without involving payment. Foster care can even be adopted.

Sponsorship

Another type of non-institutional measure called the Sponsorship Program provides additional assistance to families, children’s homes and special homes to meet the medical, nutritional, educational and other needs of children. Sponsorship is given to improve their quality of life. There are many types of sponsorship programs for children, such as individual-to-individual sponsorship, group sponsorship or community sponsorship.

After-care Organisations

The juveniles are taken care of in the organization of the aftercare, which is a transition home, after leaving the special homes and the children’s home. Minors in conflict with the law and children in need of care and protection, both categories are placed in aftercare organizations. Monitoring organizations allow minors to lead an honest and industrious life. Follow-up agencies are committed to the primary goal of enabling children and youth to adapt to society. In child care agencies, children and adolescents are motivated to stay in the wider society of their lives in institutional homes.

Monitoring organizations are nothing more than a temporary home set up for a group of young people. In monitoring organizations, young people are encouraged to learn a trade and also contribute to the management of the monitoring centre. Any volunteer agency or organization designated as a custodial organization strives to prepare children, as well as adolescents, to become self-reliant and to acquire the social and fundamental skills necessary for their full integration into the community.

In the monitoring program, children and adolescents also have access to social, legal and medical services, as well as appropriate financial support. Continuing education services are regularly offered to children and youth in the follow-up organization to help them become financially independent and generate their own income.

The monitoring organization should ensure regular follow-up and support after the reintegration of the child or minor into the community or society. Members of various government agencies also work together to reintegrate children or minors into society by enabling them to live psychologically and economically, as well as by providing ongoing assistance after their integration into society. Institutional and non-institutional measures have been used not only for the proper care and development of children but also to address children’s issues adequately as a last resort for the well-being of children and minors. to be used.

What is the role of the police?

The first contact of a juvenile with the judicial system is mainly by the police because it is the police who arrest the juvenile and produce it in the juvenile justice court. In rare cases, this has been done by a private party or a voluntary organization. The Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 clarifies the need to establish a special juvenile police unit in each district and city.

It also contemplates that at least one police officer be assigned to a police station as a minor or child protection officer. This is important because it is the police officer who produces the children or the minor in court and prepares and submits the indictment of the offence committed by the child or minor.

Special Juvenile Police

The special juvenile police often and exclusively deal with juveniles and mainly work to prevent juvenile delinquency or to deal with juvenile delinquency under the Juvenile Justice Act. Therefore, they are specially educated and trained to handle children and adolescents. The representative designated as a minor or child protection officer in each position is trained to possess the appropriate skills, training and orientation.

At least one designated police officer will be designated in each police station and will take care of the minor or child in coordination with the police. To improve the treatment of minors and children by the police, the Special Police for Minors has been designated in each police station.

Pursuant to section 84(1) of the Special Police Regulations for Juveniles, the Juvenile Police Task Force shall include a Child Protection or Youth Protection Officer with the rank of Inspector of Police. and two paid social workers, including work experience in the field of child protection. In 1952, in Greater Mumbai, the Juvenile Police Unit (JAPU) was established primarily to care for destitute and neglected children. He continues to act as a special force within the police.

What is the role of state government?

Within two months of their appointment, the law provides for the initial training of the members of the Juvenile Justice Council and the Child Protection Committee (Sections 4 and 27). The Chief Magistrate or Chief Metropolitan Magistrate review the juvenile justice case once every three months. Its main purpose is to direct the Council (Section 16). The law also provides for the establishment of a high-level committee to review cases pending before the Juvenile Justice Council.

Under section 36 of the Juvenile Justice Act, the district magistrate must submit quarterly reports to the district judge on the length of the proceedings and the nature of the disposition of cases. The District Magistrate conducts a quarterly review of child protection committees and proposes direct corrective measures. This is done to solve the problem. A district magistrate’s review report is sent to the state government, which may result in the formation of additional committees if necessary. Even after three months. In case processing persists, the existing committee is dissolved and a new committee is formed by the state government.

Within six months of the entry into force of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015, state governments must also register all institutions, whether administered by the government or an NGO and are destined in full. or partly to housing children. Whether they receive government subsidies or not, institutions are required to register with the state government. A provisional registration certificate to the institution within one month from the date of the application should be issued by the state government. A penalty for non-registration in a child care facility may be up to one year in prison or a fine of at least Rs. 1 lakh.

According to section 49 of the Act, state governments are expected to create at least one place of safety for the placement of persons over 18 years of age or children aged 16 to 18 years who have committed a heinous crime. Inspection committees must be appointed at both state and district level and, at least once every three months, they must inspect all institutions (Section 54).

The central government and the states may carry out an independent evaluation through persons or institutions determined by the Government of the functioning of the Juvenile Justice Council, the Child Protection Committee, the Special Section of the juvenile police, approved institutions, facilities and persons adapted under Section 55.

Under section 65 of the Act, the state government recognizes one or more institutions in each district as the adoption agency with respect to adoption. The public agency shall provide the Central Authority for Adoption Resources (CARA) with the details of the specialized adoption agencies, such as name, address and contact details, as well as copies of the certificate and letter of recognition or renewal. Every adoption agency inspected at least once a year and takes corrective action by the state government. for a fine up to Rs. 50,000/- in the event of default by the Specialized Adoption Agency, in addition to the withdrawal of recognition for repeated default provided for by law.

Under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, all registered institutions that may not have been recognized as a specialized adoption agency must establish formal links with a nearby adoption agency. All orphans or children returned or abandoned declared legally free for adoption by the registered institution. Any breach of this provision will result in a fine of Rs. 50,000/- and even non-recognition if a persistent violation of the provisions is found (Section 66).

Central and national governments are required to sensitize the general public, children, parents and guardians to the provisions of the law. In addition to other persons concerned or government officials, they must also undergo periodic training (Section 108).

What is the role of the Juvenile Justice Board?

The Juvenile Justice Council (JJB) is headed by a senior magistrate. He has exclusive jurisdiction to deal with juvenile cases. The magistrate of the Commission for Juvenile Justice is a magistrate “who should be a metropolitan magistrate or a first class magistrate with special knowledge in child psychology and child protection”. In the juvenile justice commission, two members are social workers, one of whom must be a woman.

The fundamental requirement of board members is that they have a postgraduate degree in social work, psychology, child development or any other social science discipline and that they are required to actively participate in activities related to children’s health, education or well-being for seven years. A selection committee chaired by a retired High Court judge selects and appoints social workers from the Juvenile Justice Council. The term of office of the members is 3 years and they can be appointed for a maximum of 2 consecutive terms.

The Senior Magistrate who is an officer of the court is governed by the conditions of service set out in the State Judicial Services Regulation and the allowances of the Senior Magistrate who is an officer of the court are governed by his service regulations. The member of the juvenile justice council may be dismissed after an investigation by the state government for the following reasons:

  • If he has been found guilty of misuse of power under this Act, or
  • He/she has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, and this conviction has not been reversed or he/she has not been totally pardoned for this offence, or
  • He fails to attend Board proceedings for three consecutive months without cause or fails to attend at least three-quarters of the meeting in one year.

A social worker member of the Commission receives a minimum of 500 rupees per meeting. The Juvenile Justice Council has been granted exclusive jurisdiction over juveniles. The Juvenile Justice Council decides and adjudicates cases involving minors. “The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2000” has a preponderant effect on several acts of the Indian Penal Code.

The Juvenile Justice Council investigates ordinary criminal courts for offences under the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances Act, Weapons Act, SC / ST on the prevention of atrocities allegedly committed by a minor. This includes Section 18 (prohibition of anticipatory bail) of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

What is the role of Social workers and Non-governmental Organisations?

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act focuses on the participation of voluntary social workers and community services for the benefit of minors at different times. This requires the participation of social and community workers from non-governmental organizations in admission, decision-making, community placement, institutionalization and rehabilitation of neglected and delinquent children.

The larger role of volunteer social workers allows the child to stay in touch with society. It also allows the juvenile justice system to be more transparent. The idea is to consider it with the idea that, without the cooperation of the community, the goal of social reintegration of delinquent children cannot be achieved.

In the child protection sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a key role: they must provide a framework that ensures that every child, even as they enter the system, is treated with care and compassion. They are also fighting for the rights of the child to be recognized and protected. Social workers continue to play a crucial role in the treatment of juvenile offenders, although since the 1980s the welfare approach has been brought to justice.

The Juvenile Justice Council is composed of a metropolitan magistrate or a first class judicial magistrate and two social workers, as mentioned above. The Model Rules set out the criteria for being a social worker on the board: “The social worker to be appointed to the board must be a person aged 35 or over who holds a postgraduate degree in social sciences, work, health, education, psychology, child development or other social science disciplines and is actively involved in the planning, implementation and administration of measures related to the protection of childhood for at least seven years. Social workers who are members of the Juvenile Justice Council should have been actively involved in health, education or welfare activities for children for at least seven years.

The model rule also mentions the selection process for members and both social workers must be appointed by the state government on the recommendation of the selection committee. The selection committee for government and justice representatives consists of two representatives of well-known non-governmental organizations working in the field of child protection. Social workers who are members of the Juvenile Justice Commission must assert themselves and not be submerged by the magistrate (the judicial member) and play an important role in the rehabilitation of the juvenile.

Social assisting members may dismiss the magistrate under Section 5(4) of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000.

Social assisting members should be familiar with the provisions of the juvenile legislation and the documents and procedures of each case pending before the Juvenile Justice Council. This is emphasized for justice to be rendered to the minor. Gain the confidence of the minor, while showing him that even if his best interests are in his mind, he will be treated with severity, which is the main duty of the social worker members.

The minor is placed in an institution on the order of the juvenile justice council. It is therefore imperative that the social workers who are members of the Juvenile Justice Council regularly visit the observation houses, special houses and other institutions where minors are referred. This is to ensure that the goal of reform and rehabilitation is achieved.

Although justice is done to minors, the importance of social workers is recognized in the 1986 law. A panel of two honorary social workers attends the juvenile court. The group of at least one woman is appointed by the state government with persons with the qualifications required by law.

Instead of simply assisting the magistrate, the 2000 law elevated the social worker to the court that constitutes the Juvenile Justice Council. Intervention in social work has always been expressed alongside words such as “honorary”, “voluntary”, “charitable” although playing an important role. Under the 1986 law, not only did “two honorary social workers” assist the juvenile court but under the 2000 law, a similar pattern continued. The social worker members of the Juvenile Justice Council should receive a “travel allowance”.

Senior managers employed in the homes and superintendents of child protection institutions are also social workers who have received academic training. several critical roles played in the lives of minors by the staff attached to the institutions. Since offenders often report that their families do not care about their well-being, the role of social workers is important.

The social worker works as a friend so that the child feels comfortable talking freely with him. They assume the role of counsellor and guide to have the confidence of the child to approach him when needed. They work as a reformer to make the child understand that what he did was wrong. They also act as healers to help the child reach his full potential and direct him to his future. It is essential to set up a children’s referral clinic in an institution, as repeated sessions with minors are essential to change one’s attitude. In a child welfare centre, it is a child psychologist or psychotherapist who can make a positive difference in the future of the minor.

Under the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, NGOs also play a central role in the search for a pending or investigative juvenile charge as a “person or institution”. The 2000 Act allows voluntary organizations to establish and maintain observation houses and special houses. In addition, to ensure the minor’s full rehabilitation services in institutions set up and managed by the state government are provided by voluntary organizations, such as counselling, education and vocational training, etc.

                    

What is the role of Child Welfare Committees?

Within one year from the date of entry into force of the Juvenile Justice (Protection and the Rights of Children) Act of 2006 (established for each district) one or more committees the protection of children created by notification published in the official gazette of the state government. It seeks to exercise the powers and duties of these committees with respect to the child in need of care and protection under the Juvenile Justice (Protection and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

The committee consists of a chair and four other members. with at least one being a woman. The chair or committee member must have a postgraduate degree in social work, psychology and child development. If this person is not available, at least one graduate from one of the social science disciplines or a teacher, doctor or social worker is required. worker working in the field of child development. The mandate and qualifications of the president and the member appointed by the state government for a three-year term.

The indemnity of the members may not be lower than 500/- per session. A committee member may be dismissed after a government investigation, if

  • he has been found guilty of abuse of power under this Act, or
  • he has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude and that sentence has not been overturned or he has not been totally pardoned for that offence, or
  • he does not attend the Council debates for three consecutive months without just cause or does not attend at least three-quarters of the meeting of the year.

The final authority rests with the Committee “to adjudicate cases relating to the custody, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of children, as well as to basic needs and the protection of human rights.

How is the JJ Act in India is different from other countries?

  • Table 1

Country

The minimum age for the Juvenile at which he can be charged with an offence

United States of America

the age ranges from six to ten years

United Kingdom

the age limit is ten years

South Africa

the age is often years

France

by offence committed

Canada

after the age of twelve years.

Germany

at the age of fourteen years.

India (Juvenile Justice Act 2015)

Under IPC after the age of seven years.

 

  • Table 2

Country

The age in which Juvenile can be tried as an adult

United States of America

From the age of 13 years

United Kingdom

17 years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 16 years in Scotland

South Africa

The juvenile can be treated as an adult from the age of sixteen years

France

The age of being an adult is sixteen

Canada

The age of the juvenile who will be treated as an adult is fourteen years

Germany

At the age of fourteen years.

India (Juvenile Justice Act 2015)

From the age of sixteen in the case of heinous crimes

 

  • Table 3

Country

Type of offences for which the minor can be tried

United States of America

aggravated sexual abuse, murder, assault, robbery, firearms offences, and drug

United Kingdom

Murder, rape, causing any explosion likely to endanger life or property

South Africa

robbery, murder, rape

France

Armed robbery, murder, rape and drug offences

Canada

Serious bodily harm to any person, murder, and aggravated sexual assault

Germany

Abuse of persons who are incapable of resistance, or sexual abuse, or child abuse leading to death

India (Juvenile Justice Act 2015)

Serious offence (punishment 3-7 years e.g. cheating, counterfeiting) or heinous offence, (punishment more than seven years e.g. murder, rape, robbery)”

 

Conclusion

While most approaches to juvenile justice focus on the punishment or treatment of juvenile delinquents, the restorative justice process seeks to repair wrongs by involving the entire community in offender rehabilitation and holding them accountable for their behaviour.

It is absolutely imperative to rehabilitate and reintegrate the child into society and to make him understand the grievance and serious responsibility for the offence he has committed. This is envisaged and dealt with in the Juvenile Justice Act of 2005 and includes the applicable provisions of the 1985 Beijing Rules. Young minds being the future of society, their age, the physical constitution must be taken into account. and mental. The restorative justice system also maintains this objective as its overarching goal.

Reference

  1. Supreme Court of India, Jameel vs State Of Maharashtra on 16 January 2007
  2. THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, Raj Singh vs State of Haryana CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 701-702 /2015
  3. The Supreme court of India, Pratap Singh vs State of Jharkhand and Anr Criminal Appeal No. 210 of 2005
  4. JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN INDIA: FROM WELFARE TO RIGHTS by Prof. Ved Kumari, Delhi University
  5. United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (“The Beijing Rules”) adopted by the General Assembly resolution 40/33 of 29 November 1985.
  6. Juvenile Justice Act, 1986.
  7. Juvenile Justice, Act of 2000.
  8. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 2000.
  9. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

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