General

Introduction and Overview of the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015

This article is written by Parul Chaturvedi pursuing LLB from Dr R.M.L Law College Bangalore. This is an exhaustive article which deals with an overview of the Juvenile Justice Act and rights of Juveniles and proceedings before the court jurisdictions.

Introduction

“There can be no more intense discovery of a society’s spirit than how it treats its youngsters.” 

-Nelson Mandela

“With their inception, youth lawfulness has preceded the belief that the youngsters and juveniles, by dint of their relative immaturity, are less ready to control their desire, less ready to comprehend the reality of the offences and less ready to foresee the consequences of their action.”

– John Pitts 

An apparent set of principles focused on reformation and rehabilitation has dominated academic and political discourse concerning the drafting of laws related to juvenile justice and children in conflict with the law. The Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 and its subsequent amendments can be considered in many ways a landmark in signifying changes in the thought process of lawmakers. At the turn of the 21st century, a need was felt to update the laws bearing in mind prescribed standards set by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985, as well as the UN Rules for Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, 1990. The legislative exercise subsequently culminated into the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, along with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules of 2000, are replaced by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules of 2007. In the wake of the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case, one of the accused, who was a juvenile, was sentenced to three years in a reformation home as per the provisions of the juvenile justice Act, 2000. In light of the Supreme Court judgement upholding the constitutional validity of the Act, in December 2015, the Delhi High Court held itself to be bound by the provisions and refused to extend the sentence of the accused. This led to a widespread feeling of a failure of justice, with the masses protesting in unity with the victim’s family. Drawing much flak from various sections to correct the supposed gap in the previous act, the government delivered the juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2014, which was surpassed by the Parliament in its present shape on 22nd December 2015. It acquired the President’s assent on 31st December 2015, and came into impact on 15th January 2016, as the juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. 

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

Juvenile Justice is construed

A juvenile felon is an adolescent who has been convicted or has been found condemned for an offence that is punishable by law. Such a juvenile is known as Child in Conflict with Law (CCL) according to juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. This meaning of ‘Juvenile’ is obscure and bears no solid importance and requires more further discussion. Further, the act done by a child under seven years old is found in strife with the law and not treated as an offence and isn’t culpable under any act and such a child is certifiably not a criminal according to Section 82 of Indian Penal Code. Thus, a child whose age is under seven years old can’t be known as a juvenile and is not convicted of any crime. The specific juvenile justice Body and its partners need to control the juvenile offences as well as wrongdoings. An offence is any conduct that is culpable under the separate lawful system and juvenile misconduct is any conduct done by juveniles which is anomalous to the society and not culpable under the Indian Penal Code. In the Indian juvenile justice system, no reprobate child(wrongdoing) is responsible to confront the legitimate procedures for their conduct reformation.

Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2015

The accompanying Act of Parliament obtained the consent from the President on 31st December 2015 and is thus circulated for general info. This is an Act to combine and amend the law associated to children which are positively asserted and found in conflict with the law and the child needs to provide care and security by taking into account their essential needs through legitimate consideration, assurance, advancement, treatment, social re-mix, by embracing a child cordial approach in the mediation and removal of issues to the most progressive growth of the child and for their restoration through procedures given, and organizations and bodies as mentioned in the recent amendment of juvenile justice Act 2015 Section 1(1)(2)(3)(4) it represents that: 

  1. This Act might be popularly known as the juvenile justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  2. It reaches out to the entire of India aside from the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
  3. It will come into power on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, choose.
  4. Notwithstanding anything contained in some other law for now in power, the social arrangements of this Act will apply to all issues concerning child’s needs care and security and youths in strife with law, including anxiety, confinement, arraignment, appropriate punishment or detainment, restoration and social re-incorporation of kids in a struggle with law.

Important definitions under the Act

In the Indian juvenile justice system, the ‘child in Conflict with Law’ is utilized in place of juveniles. In this way, the Child in Conflict with Law is smarter to be utilized as opposed to utilizing juveniles. The ideas conceived by the term’s ‘juveniles’ ‘child’ and ‘child in Conflict with Law’ have contrasts and similitudes. In this way, complete deserting the term ‘juvenile’ is unimaginable. 

Below tables shows the similarities and contrasts of the three terms:

Similarities

Contrasts

1

Child

younger than 18 years.

  • A child born after birth referred to as a teen.
  • A child may be in Conflict in Law in needs of care and security.

2

Juvenile

younger than 18 years.

  • A juvenile has a lower age limit as per section 82 of Indian Penal Code, he must be over 7 years of age.
  • A child who faces legitimate procedures in the claim of an offence or wrongdoing.

3

Child in conflict with the law.

younger than 18 years.

  • A child who faces legal proceedings in the allegation for an offence.

Important Definitions

Section 2(13) of the juvenile justice act 2015 signifies a child who is in conflict with the law and asserted or found to have convicted an offence and not finished the 18 years of age on the date of the delegation of such an offence.

Section 2(35) characterizes the significance of a juvenile as “juveniles” and a child underneath the age of 18 years.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2016 are the primary rules. The constitution of India and UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of juvenile justice, 1985 also known as the Beijing Rules are guiding fountains. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 known as UNCRC is the source of all protection issues for children.

Rule 2.2 of the Beijing Rules mentioned

  • A juvenile is a child or young person who, under the governing legal systems, may be dealt with an offence in a manner that is different from an adult.
  • An offence is any behaviour (act or omission) that is punishable by law under the respective legal systems.
  • A juvenile offender is a child or young person who is alleged to have committed or who has been found to have committed an offence.

Recent amendments in the Juvenile Justice Act Bill 2015 passed by the Lok Sabha

These are 14 notable changes mentioned below:

  1. Depending upon the severity of crime like a crime committed atrociously and brutally, the juveniles between the ages of 16 to 18 years have the trial and the legal proceedings in adult courts.
  2. Any child that is convicted of any crime will currently be sent for a preliminary evaluation for a time of a quarter of a year (3 months), earlier it is one month now extended to three months.
  3. Another clause on fair trial is included, under which the evaluation or assessment period will investigate the special needs of the child, under the child-friendly atmosphere.
  4. The child will not go through any form of disqualification or elimination in education or jobs due to being guilty of any crime under the Act.
  5. The guilty records shall be ruined after the completion period of appeal, except in the case of atrocious crimes.
  6. The time period to rethink the decision of adoption is changed from one to three months.
  7. The aftercare of a child shall be unrestricted to one month in institutional care.
  8. Receive financial aid more than one time after evacuating institutional care.
  9. Priority for disabled children in interstate adoption.
  10. Increase in the time period for left alone children kept under observation in child care facilities from 30 days to 60 days.
  11. In the case of an inevitable situation, it will not be considered purposely or willfully giving up the child by biological parents.
  12. Consultation and advice from experienced psychologists and medical specialists if an order passed against the child.
  13. Training of special juvenile units in the police force.
  14. NCPCR and SCPCR will be the nodal specialists to be liable for observing implementation, the exposure of the amended act, and to investigate cases that emerge out of the act.

Recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee Report, 2013

The Justice Verma Committee was framed in 2013 to audit criminal laws and to make proposals considering the 16th December 2012 Delhi Gangrape case. The Committee got a scope of recommendations, including the proposal that the time of juvenile blamed for egregious wrongdoing must be characterized as one underneath 16 years old and the individuals who are 16 years or more should be treated as an adult in a courtroom and must not be presented with the Juvenile Justice Act 2000. On this particular issue, the board of trustees held a wide scope of consultations with the attorneys, women rights activists, child experts, psychologists and child rights activists. The report of the board of trustees mentioned that if a small child is old enough at 16 years, he committed a crime and was sentenced for a long term, at the time when he completes his term in jail he will turn to 30 years and this also points out the terrible condition of rehabilitation programs in Indian jails.

            Click Above

General principles of care and protection of children

General standards to be followed in the organization of Act- The Central Government, the State Governments, the Board, and different offices, by and large, while executing the provisions of this Act will be guided by the accompanying basic principles, specifically:

Section 3 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 states the principles of care and protection of children:

  1. Principle of the Best Interest of the Child- “Best interest of the child” signifies the reason for any choice taken with respect to the child, to guarantee satisfaction of his fundamental rights and needs, character, social prosperity and physical, enthusiastic and scholarly improvement.
  2. The Principle of Presumption of Innocence- It will be regarded all through the procedure of justice and protection, from the underlying contact to elective consideration, including aftercare. Any unlawful behaviour of a child which is done for endurance, or is because of environmental or situational factors or is done under the control of adults, or peer groups.
  3. Principle of Right to maintain privacy and Confidentiality- Each child has an option to the right of his protection and privacy by all methods and all through the legal procedure. No report of the juvenile will be distributed that may prompt the recognition of the juvenile but to the situations where the exposure of their distinguishing proof identity would cause protection of them.
  4. Principle of equality and non-discrimination- That there shall be no discrimination against a child on any grounds including sex, caste, ethnicity, place of birth, disability and equality of access, opportunity and treatment shall be provided to every child. Every single suitable measure should be taken to ensure that the child is secured against all types of discrimination or punishment based on the status, activities, expressed opinions or convictions of the child’s parents, lawful guardians, or family members.
  5. Principle of Participation- The child should be provided with an opportunity to being involved and the child who is capable of forming his or her own views has the right to express those views freely in all matters which is affecting the child’s growth and development, the views of the child is given due importance in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
  6. Principle of institutionalization- It is a measure of last resort, in certain circumstances the family is not capable of taking care of the well being of the child and when the child has no family to be cared for and there is no one to look after the child, the government must make alternative provisions.
  7. Principle of Diversion- Diversion presents a few preferences when contrasted with the conventional criminal justice framework which can be excessively unbending, awkward, slow and inert to the necessities of children who are often first-time or non-genuine offenders. Police are the first point of contact between the juvenile and the juvenile justice Board or the court and as such the police think that it is not essential to proceed for the juvenile to the judicial bodies on the consideration that the rights of the child, protection of the society and the rights of the victims, they may divert the juvenile from the formal court processes based on the acts and rules.
  8. Principles of Natural Justice- Every child should be treated fairly and equally, regardless of his or her race, ethnicity, colour, gender, language, religion, political or another opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, and birth or another status. In certain cases, special services and protection will need to be instituted to ensure children’s rights are met equally.
  9. Principle of Family Responsibility- Guardians or parents of a juvenile must be associated with the groundwork for the inquiry and trial and be available when it happens. They ought to be educated by police, investigators or judges that a conventional request will happen and that they are welcome to join in.
  10. Principle of Dignity and worth- The treatment of the child will be predictable with the child’s feeling of pride and worth. Every single person is brought into the world free and equivalent in poise and rights. They are invested with reason and conscience and should act towards each other in a soul of fellowship (Article I of UN Declaration Human Rights). All children will be managed with respect due to their inherent dignity and human beings.
  11. Principle of Safety- The state has a greater responsibility for ensuring the safety of every child in its care and protection, without resorting to restrictive measures and processes in the name of care and protection.
  12. Principle of Positive Measures- The main theme of the principle is the promotion of the wellbeing of the juveniles. The characters and behaviours of the juveniles shall be corrected and reformed by following positive measures.
  13. Principle of non-stigmatizing Semantics- The principle of non-stigmatizing semantics proposes not to utilize words that are utilized in ordinary criminal procedures, choices, and activities that may stigmatize the juveniles. The rule command to maintain a strategic distance from the utilization of antagonistic or accusatory words, for example, capture, remand, blame, charge sheet, preliminary, indictment, warrant, summons, conviction, detainee, reprobate, ignored, custody or prison.
  14. Principle of non-waiver of Rights- The Constitution of India carefully precludes the waiver of rights. The equivalent is epitomized in the juvenile justice system in India. The legal rights enforced by the Juvenile Justice Act should not be postponed under any circumstances by any juvenile, competent authority and stakeholder working under the juvenile justice system. Also, further, the non-exercise of fundamental rights doesn’t add up to the waiver of the equivalent.
  15. Principle of Repatriation and Restoration- States that it shall be ensured that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will. However, the Board or the Court considers the separation is necessary for the best interests of the child in accordance with the law and procedures, such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child’s place of residence.
  16. Principle of Fresh Start- The principle of fresh start promotes a new beginning for the juvenile in conflict with the law. This rule also instructs to destroy all past records of the juvenile within a stipulated period. They are ensured to erase all their past records.

Juvenile Justice Board

One of the most important and progressive features of the Act of 2000 was the foundation of juvenile justice Boards. Each board is inquired to decide the age of the child, the question of bail, and the subject of a commission of the offence, and pass proper orders. The composition of the board incorporates a principal magistrate and two social workers, in this way guaranteeing not only are legitimate complexities secured, however, the financial, psycho-social and familial conditions are also considered to be secured. The social workers engaged with the juvenile justice system are called correctional social workers globally.

Section 4(1) states that notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the State Government will comprise for each region, at least one juvenile justice Board for practising the forces and releasing its capacities identifying with youngsters in conflict with the law under this act and other section and acts can be provided in Chapter 3 section 4(1) to (7).

Apparently, children entering before the juvenile justice System are already addicted to face the grave dangers in their lives, yet their predicament is frequently overlooked. Police misuse is ordinary in certain purviews. Children grieve in the framework for quite a long time, either as inhabitants of decrepit detention facilities without access to schooling and education or as the subject of unlimited procedures that draw them away from training or work, bringing about a financial emergency for the child’s family. If so, in addition to the fact that we fail the child as a state, yet additionally when they come in conflict with the law. 

Role of Social Workers

Social worker’s responsibility in the juvenile justice system is to implement the principle with the right counselling and opportunities to change an individual into a decent resident. Nonetheless, unnecessary deferrals in procedures, bringing a backlog of cases, an insufficient infrastructure, deferred justice they deal with them efficiently and promptly. Social workers can move in the direction of the reintegration of the juvenile inside society. The association with the justice System may cause disgrace and seclusion, and effect the minor’s future training and work possibilities. Social workers may work with the family, neighbourhood, and schools, empowering them to acknowledge the child and bolster him in remaking his life. Officials can urge schools to readmit juveniles and continue their schooling, forestalling drop-out rates. Admission to open schools may likewise be upheld where the juveniles can proceed with the guidelines by means of self-teaching and work at the same time to help himself and his family. Social workers should assist juveniles with securing positions and work with managers to enlist them. They also work with the family of juveniles and guide them to reshape their child’s future by making him a good member of society.

Wizner and Keller discussed the juvenile criminal justice system “It has neither given satisfactory assurance to society from juvenile crimes nor prevailing within rehabilitating young offenders.”

Limitations

It has been speculated that the institutional set-up required under the Juvenile Justice Act has not been built up completely and district-level institutions generally lack the infrastructure and staff to adequately execute it. This hampers the work of the rehabilitative and reformative programs leads to disappointment in accomplishing goals of restoration and reintegration work. There has been practically nil spotlight in organizing rehabilitative plans. Also, the role of the staff is not under satisfaction. There is a lack of coordination between staff and children. This leads to fewer opportunities for children to showcase their talent and skill and health issues of workers to implement certain roles and duties.

Procedure in relation to children in conflict with the law

A Child in Conflict with Law has a number of rights starting from the pickup up by the police up to the release from the juvenile justice Institutions.

Section 10 to 26 of juvenile justice Act 2015 defined procedure in relation to children in conflict with law in which some of them we discussed here:

Section 10- Apprehension of the person alleged to be in conflict with the law.

  1. A child may be apprehended on the ground of committing an offence. At the time of apprehension, they have certain rights mentioned below.
  1. They shall not be kept in the police lock-up or jail. Instead, they shall be kept in safe custody prior to the production before the Board.
  2. In every police station, safe custody may be arranged by following the Principle of Child-Friendly Atmosphere.

Section 10(1) of the juvenile justice Act, 2015 states that “Provided that in no case, a child alleged to be in conflict with the law shall be placed in a police lockup or lodged in a jail”.

Section 8(3) juvenile justice Rules, 2016 mentions that the police officer apprehending a child alleged to conflict with the law.

Section 14 Inquiry by Board regarding a child in conflict with the law- this provision describes whether a child is produced before Board or he may fit in sections 17 and 18 of the act. It also categorizes the types of offence depending upon how it is committed below. 

  1. Petty offenceSection 2(45) “petty offences” includes the offences for which the maximum punishment under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment up to three years inquiry is disposed of by the Board through summary proceedings, according to the procedure endorsed under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.
  2. Serious offenceSection 2 (54) “serious offences” includes the offences for which the punishment under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or any other law for the time being in force, is imprisonment between three to seven years; Enquiry is disposed of by the Board, by following the strategical procedure, for preliminary trial in summons cases under the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.
  3. Heinous offenceSection 2(33) includes the offences for which the minimum punishment under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment for seven years or more. Section 15– Preliminary assessment into heinous offences by Board it deals with inquiry (I) if a child beneath the age of sixteen years as on the date of commission of an offense will be discarded by the Board under proviso (e);(ii) for a child over the age of sixteen years as on the date of commission of an offense will be managed in the way recommended under section 15.

These are all culpable by law. The acts and rules recommend the rights and reformatory methodology of the juveniles and it has no obvious framework about juvenile crime. Antisocial behavior done by youngsters which harm society is called juvenile delinquents or misconduct. These misconducts create an atmosphere that provokes juveniles to commit crimes or violations. The expansion of juvenile misconduct will enhance juvenile violations. The decline of juvenile crime will lead to a decline in juvenile violations. The most probable cause of juvenile violations is misconduct.

Right at the time of apprehension

A child may be apprehended on the ground of committing an offence. At the time of apprehension, they have sure rights. They shall no longer be kept inside the police lock-up or jail. Instead, they shall be kept inside the secure custody prior to the production before the Board. In every police station, secure custody can be organized with the aid of following the Principle of Child-Friendly Atmosphere. Section 10 (1) of Justice Juvenile Act, 2015 states that “Provided that in no case, a child purported to be in a battle with law shall be located in a police lockup or lodged in a jail”. And Section 8(3) Justice Juvenile Rules, 2016 mentioned that the police officer apprehending a child supposed to be in conflict with law.

Procedure to be followed

  • Not send a child to a police officer lock-up and not delay the child being transferred to the Child Welfare Police Officer from the nearest police station. The police officer may under sub-section (2) of section 12 of the Act send the person apprehended to an observation home only for such period till he is produced before the Board i.e. within twenty-four hours of his being apprehended and appropriate orders are obtained as per rule 9 of these rule.
  • Do not handcuff, neither put a chain or fetter around the ankles of a child and do not exert any coercion or force.
  • Inform the child promptly and directly of the charges levelled against him through his parent or guardian and if a First Information Report (FIR) is registered, copy of the same shall be made available to the child or copy of the police report shall be given to the parent or guardian.
  • Provide appropriate medical assistance, assistance from an interpreter or a special educator, or any other assistance which the child may require.
  • Not compel the child to confess his guilt and he shall be interviewed only at the Special juvenile Police Unit or at child-friendly premises or at a child-friendly corner in the police station, which does not give the feel of a police station or of being under custodial interrogation. The parent or guardian may be present during the interview of the child by the police.
  • Not ask the child to sign any statement.
  • Inform the District Legal Services Authority for providing free legal aid to the children.

Principle of Right to maintain privacy and Confidentiality- Is applied when a crime is committed and child under trial in police custody inside the juvenile court

Further, Section 24(2) of the act mentions that the board shall order and direct the Police, or through children’s court that the relevant records of such conviction shall be destroyed after the expiry of the period of appeal from the registry or, as the case may be, a reasonable period as may be prescribed. Provided that in case of a heinous offence where the child is found to be in conflict with law under clause (i) of section 19, the relevant records of conviction of such child shall be retained by the Children Court.

Next, Section 74, of the act mentions:

  1. No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or audio-visual media or other forms of communication regarding any inquiry or investigation or judicial procedure, shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particular, which may lead to the identification of a child in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection or a child victim or witness of a crime, involved in such matter, under any other law for the time being in force, nor shall the picture of any such child be published. Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the Board or Committee holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the best interest of the child.
  2. The Police shall not disclose any record of the child for the purpose of character certificate or otherwise in cases where the case has been closed or disposed of.
  3. Any person contravening the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or fine which may extend to two lakh rupees or both.

Section 99, of the act, proclaims: 

  1. All reports related to the child and considered by the Committee or Board shall be treated as confidential: Provided that the committee or the board, as the case may be, may, if it so thinks fit, communicate the substance thereof to another Committee or Board or to the child or to the child’s parent or guardian, and may give such committee or the board or the child or parent or guardian, an opportunity or producing evidence as may be relevant to the matter stated in the report. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the victim shall not be denied access to their record, orders and relevant papers.

Section 24(5) POCSO, 2012 stresses for the police to make sure officers that the identity of the child is covered from the public media unless otherwise directed through the Special Court within the benefit of the child.

Child welfare committee

Section 27 to 30 of the 2015 act explain the Various aspects of Child Welfare Committee about the Child Welfare Committee and its Role:

Sec 27 (1): The State Government by notification in the Official Gazette in each district, set up at least one Child Welfare Committees to practice the powers and to release the obligations bestow on such Committees by comparing to youngsters needing care and security under this act and assure that training and sensitization of all individuals from the board of trustees is implemented within two months from the date of notification.

Composition: Committee consists of one chairperson, four members of state government in which one is women and others are an expert on children related matters.

Role of the committee

Section 9 and 10 deals with the role of Committees:

Sec (9): The Committee will work as a Bench and will have the forces given by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, by and large, a judicial Magistrate of First Class.

Sec (10): The District Magistrate will be the complaints redressal expert for the Child Welfare Committee and anybody associated with the youngster may record an appeal before the District Magistrate, who will consider and pass suitable requests.

Procedure for the Committee

Section 28 of the Act shows the procedural way:

  1. It implies that the Committee will meet at least 20 days in a month and will watch such guidelines and methodology with respect to the exchange of business at its meetings, as might be endorsed.
  2. A visit to a current child care organization by the Committee, to check its working and prosperity of the child will be considered as a sitting of the Committee.
  3. A child needing care and insurance might be delivered before an individual from the Committee for being set in a Children’s Home or fit individual when the Committee isn’t in the meeting.
  4. In case of any difference of views among the individuals from the Committee at the hour of taking any choice, the assessment of the dominant party will win however where there is no such majority, the assessment of the Chairperson will win.
  5. Subject to the arrangements of sub-section (1), the Committee may act, despite the nonattendance of any individual from the Committee, and no structure made by the Committee will be invalid by reason just of the nonappearance of any part during any phase of the procedure.

Given that there will be in any event three individuals present at the hour of definite removal of the case

Power of Committee

Section 29 deals with the Power of Committee:

(1) The Committee will have the position to discard cases for the consideration, security, treatment, improvement, and recovery of youngsters needing care and insurance, just as to accommodate their essential needs and assurance.

(2) Where a Committee has been comprised for any zone, such Committee will, despite anything contained in some other law until further notice in power, however spare as in any case explicitly given right now, the ability to manage all procedures under this Act associated with children needing care and security.

Functions and Responsibilities of Committee

  1. Promoting awareness;
  2. Conducting inquiry;
  3. Directing the child welfare officers to conduct a social investigation;
  4. Inquiry for fit persons taking care and security of children;
  5. Handling placement of a child in foster care;
  6. Taking care, insurance, proper recovery or reclamation of kids needing care and security, in light of the child’s individual consideration plan;
  7. Conducting 2 inspection visits per month;
  8. Making a move for the restoration of explicitly mishandled youngsters who are accounted for as kids needing care and assurance to the Committee by Special Juvenile Police Unit or neighborhood police, all things considered, under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 (32 of 2012); and
  9. Orphan and abandoned children are legally free for adoption.

Procedures to be followed for children who need care

Section 31 deals with production before the committee:

Production before Committee— (1) Any child needing care and security must be produced before the committee by any of the accompanying people— Any cop or special juvenile police unit or an assigned child welfare police officer or any official of the district child protection unit or controller designated under any work law in power. Any community worker, childline services or any deliberate or non-legislative association or any organization as might be perceived by the State Government. Child Welfare Officer or post-trial agent, any social specialist or a child protection specialist by the child himself or any medical attendant specialist or the board of a nursing home, clinic or maternity home.

Given that the juvenile will be created before the Committee with no loss of time yet inside a time of twenty-four hours barring the time important for the excursion.

(2) The State Government may make rules predictable with this Act, to accommodate the way of presenting the report to the Committee and the way of sending and entrusting the child to the child’s home or office or fit the individual, by and large, during the time of the request.

Procedure

A child needing care and security is to be present before the Child Welfare Committee inside 24 hours. To accommodate youngsters isolated from his/her family. By announcing it has been treated as a culpable offense. The Child Welfare Committee is to send the kid needing care and security to the suitable Child Care Institution and direct a Social Worker, Case Worker or the Child Welfare Officer to lead the social examination within 15 days. The Child Welfare Committees will meet at least 20 days in a month and the District Magistrate will direct a quarterly survey of the working of the Child Welfare Committee.

A youngster needing care and security will be set in a Children’s Home for care, treatment, guidance, preparing, advancement, and restoration. The Act accommodates Open Shelters for Children needing network support on the momentary reason for shielding them from misuse or getting them far from an actual existence in the city. The Child Welfare Committee could perceive an office to be a fit facility to incidentally assume the liability of a youngster. The Specialized Adoption Agency is to deal with the recovery of vagrants, deserted or gave up kids.

Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration

Section 40 to 55 deals with provision rehabilitation and social reintegration:

Sect (40)- Process of rehabilitation and social reintegration—

(1) The reclamation and social integration of a youngster will be the prime target of any Children’s Home, Specialized Adoption Agency or open safe house.

(2) The Children’s Home, Specialized Adoption Agency or an open safe house, all things considered, will make such strides as are viewed as vital for the rehabilitation and social re-integration of a youngster denied of his family condition briefly or for all time where such child is under their consideration and insurance.

(3) The Committee will have the forces to re-establish any youngster needing care and rehabilitation and social reintegration to his families, institution or fit individual, all things considered, subsequent to deciding the reasonableness of the guardians or institutions or fit individual to deal with the child, and give them appropriate bearings.

Clarification- For the motivations behind this segment, “restoration and safety of a child” means restoration to signify reclamation to like Parents, adoptive parents, foster parents’ guardian or fit person or a fit individual.

Section 39: States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect, and dignity of the child.

Institutional personnel and training

Rule 29 Capacity-building for staff employed in women’s prisons shall enable them to address the special social reintegration requirements of women prisoners and manage safe and rehabilitative facilities. Capacity-building measures for women staff shall also include access to senior positions with key responsibility for the development of policies and strategies relating to the treatment and care of women prisoners.

The media and the public shall be informed about the reasons that lead to women’s entrapment in the criminal justice system and the most effective ways to respond to it, in order to enable women’s social reintegration, taking into account the best interests of their children.

Right to be Reformed

The juveniles who are alleged and found committed an offence shall be reformed by restorative justice, deserving rehabilitation and social reintegration than punitive and retributive punishments. Awarding punitive and retributive punishments to the children prevents society from moving on. Children are presumed innocent and immature to understand the consequences of crimes. Therefore, they must not take responsibility for criminalization. The traditional objective of criminal justice, retribution and repression must be given away. 

Section 27 CrPC clearly mentions that the law is executed for the “treatment, training and rehabilitation of youthful offenders” who are juveniles. Whereas juveniles justice Rules 2016 is providing rules that allow the juveniles may get away from treatment, training, and rehabilitation, etc. These are contradictory concepts.

Case Law: The reformatory approach to punishment should be the object of criminal law, in order to promote rehabilitation without offending communal conscience and to secure social justice.

Narotam Singh v. The State of Punjab, AIR 1978 SC 1542; Section 27 CrPC

The jurisdiction in the case of juveniles- Any offence not punishable with death or imprisonment for a life committed by any person who at the date when appears or is brought before the Court is under the age of sixteen years, maybe tried by the Court of a Chief Judicial Magistrate, or by any court specially empowered under the Children Act, 1960(60 of 1960), or any other law for the time being in force providing for the treatment, training, and rehabilitation of youthful offenders.

The juvenile who is addicted to alcohol or drugs which lead to behavioral change in a person shall be referred to an Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts or Similar centers maintained by the State Government for mentally ill persons for the period required for in-patient treatment of such juveniles. Section 34 and 35 of Juvenile Justice Rules 2016 defines the manner of health and medical facilities to be provided.

Efforts shall be made to provide juveniles, at all stages of the proceedings, with necessary assistance such as lodging, education or vocational training, employment or any other assistance, helpful and practical, in order to facilitate the rehabilitative process.

Rules relating to adoption

Meaning of Adoption

Section 2(2) of Juvenile Justice Act “adoption” signifies the procedure through which the adopted child is for all time isolated from his biological guardians and turns into the legitimate child of his adoptive parents with all the rights, benefits and duties that are joined to a biological child:

HAGUE CHILD ABDUCTION CONVENTION 25TH OCTOBER 1980

special features- protect children-simplify the court proceeding in the interest of justice to the child.

Section 57 to 73 in juvenile act 2015 describes the different procedures of Adoption.

Case Study: L.K. Pandey v. Association of India

It was held by the Supreme Court in public interest litigation – The child has the right to love and affection. The first condition is to look for a legal guardian within the country for welfare and security of the child’s considered as of prime importance. Other legal requirements are a Marriage Certificate with recent photographs of couples, Income records. It had framed the guidelines governing intercountry adoptions for the benefit of the Government of India. A regulatory body, i.e., the Central Adoption Resource Agency was recommended and set up by the Government of India in the year 1989.

As indicated by section 56 of the Act vagrant, relinquished or given up child might be embraced, independent of the connection, religion, nation hindrance by the sets of equipped court.

Section 57 deals with the competency of Prospective adoptive parents must meet the legal adoption requirements of their country of residence and those of the country whose nationality the child holds. They ought to be genuinely fit, financially stable, intellectually alert and profoundly energetic to embrace a child for giving them a decent childhood to him. If there should be a requirement of a couple-consent a single or separated couple can give the consent for adoption. A single male doesn’t have the right to adopt a young girl child.

Section 58: The Prospective Adoptive Parents (Indian PAPS) applied an application for adoption to a Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA). The authority checks proper House Safety Records (HSR)of the PAPs if finding them legally eligible, it mentioned if a child is legally free for adoption alongside a CSR (child study report)and MER(medical examination report). On acknowledgement, Specialized Adoption Agency will give the child in pre-adoption child care with proper documents along with an application applied in the court for getting the request for adoption, in this way by appropriate guidelines by the Authority.

Difference between Domestic and Intercountry case: Domestic adoption case is filed u/s 58(3) whereas in Intercountry it is filed u/s 59(7) or 60 of the Act

To encourage domestic adoption pre-adoption care is given to children. In the case of inter-country adoption, it is not mentioned. For intercountry adoption, the person or couple becoming the legal or permanent parent of a child of another country. Inter-country adoption is specifically regulated by the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption though no such obstruction is in Domestic Adoption in which the person or couple of the same country as the child belongs.

Follow up activity after request in inter-country adoption- Sec 59(11)The approval from organization, or Central Authority, or the concerned Government division, by and large, will confirm the progress reports of the child in the adoptive family and will be liable for making alternate option on account of any disturbance, by concerning with Authority and concerned Indian diplomatic mission, the way as given in the appropriation guidelines encircled by the Authority.

Fulfillment of the court- Sec-61 Adoption is for the welfare of the youngster; Due consideration is given as per age and understanding of a child.No payment or fees have to pay to any PAP and SAA. The appropriate proceedings will be held in camera and the case will be disposed of by the court within a time of two months from the date of recording.

The adoption process in the court is definitely not a general court proceeding in that the assembly is not litigant or arguing it is an application where the strict rule of Criminal.Procedure.Code (Crpc)and evidence act aren’t applicable. Adjournment must be explained as you need to dispose of the case within two months and the record of the case ought to be guarded in custody.

An investigation was done by the court the Petition filed must be documented according to requirements of the Child Adoption Resource Authority rules alongside the testimony of the Secretary of Specialized Adoption Agency and the Prospective Adoptive Parents. Annexure should be according to CARA rules nothing less nothing more. The case is filed within ten days of the NOC or Pre-adoption consideration. 

Orders

Proposed adopters are permitted to take the child with them and in the application mentioned the details of the child taken for adoption- The Proposed adopters are proclaimed as the new parents of the said minor child having rights of parent’s privileges, benefits, and obligations.

Adoptive guardians should take the child out of the ward of the court where all legal proceedings are going on and take the child to their new home. The Municipal Corporation issued birth certificates to the minor child referencing the proposed adopters as guardians of the child.

Offences against Children

The Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 is far less behind in controlling the juveniles’ misconduct. By reviewing the juvenile justice Act 2015, there are sorts of offences.

Section 74 to 89 deals with offences against children.

The juvenile justice Act, 2015 remembers a different section for offenses against youngsters and a few of the offenses recorded right now so far not enough secured under some other law. These incorporate deal and obtainment of the child for any reason including unlawful appropriation.

  1. Beating in a childcare home;
  2. Giving children inebriating alcohol or opiate sedate or psychotropic substance;
  3. Misuse of youngsters by militant or adult groups;
  4. Offenses against handicapped kids; and
  5. Grabbing and snatching kids.

Draft amendment in Rules

For the powerful execution of these plans, the Draft Rules will specify children’s cordial methodology to summarize and to keep a record of it. It is recommended that each police headquarters will have a child cordial room, and a special children’s room will be assigned in each Court complex. Notwithstanding the Draft Rules, forms have likewise been drafted to institutionalize and improve to execute plans. An aggregate of 49 Forms has been drafted which is more than twofold the forms in Model Rules, 2007. Separate individual consideration rules for kids needing care and insurance and those in a struggle with legal matters have been made, a draft structure for social foundation recording data report has been created to help the police in recording data about kids. Rules are designed for the regular audit of youngsters in the age group of 16-18 years for their wellbeing. A few different rules are identified with the occasional report by a post-trial supervisor, case checking sheet, Comprehensive psycho-social report, Rehabilitation card, and so on will go far in better understanding and execution of the Act and Rules surrounded thereunder.

The need for the legislation

The loopholes in the execution of different safeguarding plans for children needing care and assurance depend on the circumstantial investigation it believes. The broadened gaps due to misuse of laws and enactment need proper evaluation as we’re not done before. Juveniles security administrations at the region/city/state level, still to the huge educated child needing care and education are outside the wellbeing net, inadequate projects and subsidizing which bring Juveniles to be included in poor kids, a lopsided portion of irrelevant assets, no appropriate spotlight on institutional and non-institutional administrations, absence of coordination of projects/benefits, no opportune reclamation of kids with families, absence of qualified experts, absence of parallel linkages with Education, Health, Police, judiciary, Services for the handicapped, and so forth. Additionally featured explicit holes, for example, the absence of gauges in the institutional foundation in the workplace of Child Welfare Committees (CWC) and juvenile justice Boards (JJB), lacking offices for the viable working of Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Board, Inadequate under-qualified members in Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Boards. They are lacking behind in compelling observing and assessment of the juvenile justice system, no legitimate offices for home alone kids, abandoned children. Just a couple of children have profited through Non-Institutional Care choices like Adoption, Foster Care and Sponsorship and many who are deprived of all support.

Conclusion

According to a 2015–16 economic analysis, it is found that there is a sharp decrease in government school enrolments in provincial regions from 2007 to 2014. It stressed the need to build these numbers significantly to accomplish the Universalization of Education. However, considering such proposals, funds assigned to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was raised by a minimum percent. There exists just a single welfare scheme identified with child labour scheme for the welfare of working children in needing care and security and that too saw a certain decline in funding.

It is appropriate to take note of those children needing care and security just as children in conflict with the law scarcely discover whether there any place in the budget allocation. An expansion in wrongdoings against juveniles and juveniles makes them much progressively powerless, henceforth the absence of consideration regarding child security is perturbing. Deficient financing for essential plans will undoubtedly negatively affect the reformative and rehabilitative methodology received by the acts of 2000 and 2015.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 was passed in light of the failure of Child protection. Yet at the same time there exists a similar circumstance due to the absence of duty and commitment, coordination between different partners in Child Protection and due to the absence of experienced and logical social work experts in the usage of ICPS at state to grass-root level. Child protection should go under a single organization following with a positive, adequate and proficient hierarchical structure which should root till the village level.


LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.

Ayush Verma

Recent Posts

Different dimensions of contingent contracts

This article is written by Yamini Jain, pursuing a Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation,…

17 hours ago

Special security provisions for the Prime Minister of India

This article is written by Rakchit Mishra from Birla Global University. This article completely deals…

18 hours ago

Enforcement of Cookie Policies

This article is written by Shreya Patil, pursuing a Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and…

19 hours ago

Freedom of speech and national security

The article is written by Nikhil Thakur from Manav Rachna University. The author has attempted…

19 hours ago

Confusion over COVID-19 vaccination doses and the role of courts in the same

This article is written by Jannat, from Chandigarh University, Mohali. The article talks about the…

19 hours ago

Blog competition winner announcement (Week 2nd July 2021)

So today is the day! We are finally announcing the winners of our Blog Writing…

20 hours ago