Juvenile justice?

This article is written by Amandeep Kaur, a student of Symbiosis Law School, Pune. The author in this article has discussed Juvenile delinquency in India and legislation available. 


Juvenile delinquency can be popularly seen in a developing country like India. Many youngsters around the globe get involved with grown-up formal equity framework. Ordinarily, these kids are the ones who are confronting financial issues, so these kids who are surrendered and penniless face high danger of sexual misuse, trafficking. Be that as it may, for kids in struggling with law the long trial procedures of captures can crush their whole adolescence, as a result, a large number of them are decreased to low odds of restoration and joining into society.

Meaning and Aim of Juvenile Justice System

Adolescent Justice System

An adolescent is a youngster who isn’t yet mature enough to be viewed as a grown-up. Juvenile Justice manages the treatment of kids in the struggle with the law and furthermore takes a gander at the main drivers of culpable conduct and measures to avert such conduct.

Download Now

Aims of Juvenile Justice

  • It is based on the rights of the child.
  • It applies the principle of restorative justice i.e. to restore the balance of a situation disturbed by crime rather than simply meting out punishment.
  • This system puts the best interest of the child first.
  • The primary objective of this system is to focus on the prevention of crimes and injustice done to the juveniles.

Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Delinquency is the involvement of a kid who is between the age of 10 and 17 in illegal activity or behaviour. Adolescent misconduct is likewise used to allude to youngsters who display constant conduct of underhandedness or noncompliance, in order to be considered out of parental control, getting to be plainly subject to legitimate activity by the court framework. Juvenile delinquency is also known as “juvenile offending,” and each state has a separate legal system in place to deal with juveniles who break the law.

Who are Juvenile Delinquents?

Juvenile delinquents are regularly youngsters between the ages of 10 and 17 who have carried out a criminal demonstration. There are two principal sorts of guilty parties: rehash wrongdoers and age particular guilty parties.

  • Rehash Wrongdoers– rehash guilty parties are otherwise called “life-course constant wrongdoers.” These adolescent delinquents start culpable or hinting at other solitary conduct amid pre-adulthood. Rehash guilty parties keep on engaging in criminal exercises or forceful practices even after they enter adulthood.
  • Age-particular guilty parties- Age-Specific Offenders indicate adolescent reprobate conduct starts amid youthfulness. Not at all like the rehash wrongdoers, in any case, the practices of the age-particular guilty party closes before the minor turns into a grown-up.

The practices that an adolescent shows amid youthfulness are frequently a decent marker of the kind of guilty party he will progress toward becoming. While age-specific offenders leave their delinquent behaviour behind when they enter adulthood, they often have more mental health problems, engage in substance abuse, and have greater financial problems than adults who were never delinquent as juveniles.

In the case of Gopinath Ghosh v. State of West Bengal, the accused had given his age as much above the cut-off age prescribed for being a child. However, in this case, the court not only allowed the plea of child status to be raised for the first time but also referred the matter to the sessions judge for a determination of the age of the accused. Approving this approach, the Supreme Court in Rajinder Chandra v State of Chhattisgarh, further laid down that the standard of proof for age determination is the degree of probability and not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Risk Factors and Predictors of Juvenile Delinquency

Numerous kids end up noticeably adolescent delinquents early, frequently between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Numerous adolescent practices amid the pre-high schooler and young years might be viewed as ordinary conduct for kids, as they extend their limits, and battle to build up their self discernment. There are, in any case, certain signs that a child may be going an awful way.

Indicators of adolescent misconducts may show up as ahead of schedule as preschool, and frequently include:

  • Abnormal or moderate advancement of essential abilities, for example, discourse and dialect.
  • Chronic infringement of the principles.
  • Serious forceful conduct toward different understudies or instructors.

Studies have discovered that various life conditions constitute chance components for a youngster to end up noticeably an adolescent reprobate. While these are numerous and changed, the most well-known hazard factors for adolescent misconduct include:

  • Authoritarian Parenting – characterized by the use of harsh disciplinary methods, and refusal to justify disciplinary actions, other than by saying “because I said so.”
  • Peer Association – usually resulting from leaving adolescents unsupervised, encouraging a child to engage in bad behaviours when acting with his peer group.
  • Low Socioeconomic Status
  • Permissive Parenting – characterized by lack of consequences for bad behaviour, permissive parenting can be broken down into two subcategories: (1) neglectful parenting, which is a lack of monitoring a child’s activities, and (2) indulgent parenting, which is the enablement of bad behaviour.
  • Poor School Performance
  • Peer Rejection
  • ADHD and other mental disorders
Click Above

History and Evolution of Juvenile Delinquency in India

Apprentices Act of 1850

It was the first legislation which was passed in the colonial period for dealing with children who had done something in conflict with the law. According to this act, the children who have committed some petty offences shall not be sent to prison but to treat them as apprentices i.e. a person who is undergoing a course training in industry or under any establishment.

Stand of Indian Constitution

Article 15(3), Article 39 clause(e) and (f), Article 45 and 47, force an essential duty of guaranteeing the necessities of kids and of securing their fundamental Human Rights. The General Assembly of United Nations received the Convention on Rights of the Child in November 1989 and laid the norms to be trailed by all part States in ensuring the enthusiasm of the kid. It additionally underscored on social reintegration of youngster casualties.

The Indian Penal Code Act, 1860 and Criminal Strategy Code, 1861 treating kid diversely through different methodology. Act XIX of 1850, 1876 reformatory schools act, the Borstal School Act, Children’s Act of 1920, and other state-specific legislation like Bengal Children’s Act, Madras Children’s Act to address neglected and deviant children’s these laws gave delinquents some special provisions regarding their Institutionalization and rehabilitation.

The primary formal enactment on adolescent equity in India came in 1850 with the Apprentice Act, 1850 which required that youngsters between the ages of 10-18 indicted in courts to be given professional preparing as a component of their recovery procedure. This demonstration was transplanted by the Reformatory Schools Act, 1897 along these lines gave that youngsters up to the age of 15 might be sent to the reformatory cell, and later the Juvenile Justice Act 1986 gave a uniform component of Juvenile Justice. This demonstration was supplanted by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000.

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

Different Stages of Legislation

Juvenile Justice Act, 1986

Truth be told the indigenous speculation on Juvenile Justice has been staying informed concerning the worldwide patterns in this field. With the reception of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the organization of the Juvenile Justice, India was the main nation to advance its framework in the light of the standards articulated in that. Obviously, alternate targets were to lay down a uniform lawful structure for Juvenile Justice, to give towards a specific approach towards the counteractive action and control of adolescent wrongdoing, to spell out the apparatus and framework for Juvenile Justice operations, to build up standards and measures for the organization of Juvenile Justice, to create proper linkages and coordination between the formal framework and deliberate offices and to constitute unique offenses in connection to adolescents and to recommend discipline thereof.

Keeping in mind the end goal to understand this objective, the Act soaks up the basic components of all the due procedures and participatory models. The new law without a doubt puts a difficult obligation on the state to properly outfit the assets from different segments of financial advancement in guaranteeing the prosperity and welfare of adolescents and an opportunity to recover from the struggle they went through.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

The JJ Act 1986 required that the prior framework worked around the execution of the then accessible Children’s Acts be rebuilt. Be that as it may, because of non-attendance of national accord on the time span for such a rebuilding, the means were taken by a large portion of the State Governments were still intensely shy of the declared objectives. So as to support and institutionalize the approach towards adolescent equity with regards to the significant arrangements of the Constitution of India and International commitments in such manner, the Government of India re-enacted the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of the Children) Act, 2000. For this, a Working Group was set up and the Act has been implemented since April 1, 2001, to manage the kids inside its domain.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014

Adolescent Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014 means to supersede the existing Indian adolescent misconduct law i.e. Adolescent Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, with the goal that adolescent criminals in the age gathering of 16– 18 can be attempted as grown-ups for genuine wrongdoings. It was passed on 7 May 2015 by the Lok Sabha consistently and it is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha. Adolescent Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2014 will permit a Juvenile Justice Board, which would incorporate analysts and sociologists, to choose whether an adolescent criminal in the age gathering of 16– 18 should attempt as a grown-up or not. The bill presented ideas from the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, 1993 which were absent in the past demonstration. The bill likewise tries to influence the selection to the procedure of stranded, deserted and surrendered kids more streamlined.

Following is the table statistics showing the recent development in comparison mode

Juveniles between 16-18 years apprehended under IPC
Crime 2003 2013
Burglary 1,160 2,117
Rape 293 1,388
Kidnapping/abduction 156 933
Robbery 165 880
Murder 328 845
Other offences 11,839 19,641
Total 13,941 25,804
Note: Other offences include cheating, rioting, etc.  Sources: Juveniles in conflict with the law, Crime in India 2013, National Crime Records Bureau; PRS.

Critical Analysis and Recommendations

It isn’t sufficient to order elegant laws, however, the execution ought to be finished and culminate. Under the watchful eye of bringing the law into constraint, the enactment ought to consider the foundation required to actualize the law and money related consequences associated with executing the law. With no discourse with regards to the likelihood/possibility of the usage, laws are brought into drive immediately. Subsequently, there is a disappointment in the execution of the laws.

Suggestions and Recommendations

Children and protection had been accepted as the responsibilities of modern welfare. Through social welfare programs and the JJ Act, States have undertaken the responsibility of ensuring developmental opportunities to children living in conditions of want and showing signs of social maladjustment. But the fragmented implementation and malfunctioning of the various organs under the JJ Act have brushed off the basic fundamental principle of different policies. Hence there is a need to transform this approach towards juvenile justice into a ‘system’ of juvenile justice. The first and foremost requirement is to think clearly about the direction of change.

  1. Formulation of Minimum Standards-  A child cannot develop into a normal human being by the normal provision of food, shelter and clothing. It is necessary to formulate minimum standards of services for various community and institutional services for children under the JJ Act. The qualifications, salary structure, staff pattern, the architecture of the building, and other factors should be in accordance with the objective of providing alternative family care to the juveniles, ultimately leading to their rehabilitation in society.
  2. National Commission for ChildrenA national commission for children’s welfare was suggested by the high-level committee constituted by the Supreme Court in a public interest petition for basic facilities for children engaged in the fireworks industry in Madras and Sivakasi in the early 1990s. The government has reiterated its desire to constitute one on several occasions subsequently, but one has still to be constituted.
  3. Strategy for Change Probation and other community-based programs cost less than institutionalization. They should also be preferred for their potential for ensuring better care and rehabilitation for juveniles. The state has paid some attention to children but other more demanding pressure groups and priorities deemed necessary have been able to divert the resources for their causes.
  4. Special Training Programme-A special training program must be prepared and the officers of the Board including the Principal Magistrate should be given training of child psychology and child welfare.
  5. Sports and Functional Programmes-For better welfare of juvenile games, sports and other functional programs may be organized in observation home and institution and encourage the juvenile to participate in these programs so they connect themselves with society. During festival seasons some cultural programs should be organized in the homes for the inmates with the assistance of voluntary organizations.
  6. Education and Schooling– Schooling of the children in the homes up to the age of 14 should be made compulsory. They should be given the best of the facilities and opportunities like any Boarding school (hostel) making a course of moral science and civics compulsory for those who are in homes. For the welfare of juvenile, he must be allowed to go on leave and released on license during the examination so that he can continue with his studies. Sponsorships should be provided for the education of juveniles in good institutions. Personality enhancement courses should be organized.
  7. Courses and Seminars-Orientation courses, seminars and awareness programs should be organized by government on juvenile justice on regular intervals to enable the functionaries to imbibe the message discussed and conveyed to them.
  8. Providing Assistance-A social worker may be associated with the investigation made by the police officer. In the child cell, at least one lady police officer should be posted.
  9. Needed Change-Unless a more effective lobby is generated for children, it may not be possible to bring about a change in the policy towards children whether for the purposes of finding resources or for implementing the statutory provisions or for a continuous review of policy and implementation patterns relating to children.


Children are all around us. They represent about a quarter of the world’s population. They are not equipped to defend themselves; they must depend on what is given to them. They are victims of circumstances. They bring us joy, they bring us tears, and they are our reason to hope. They are your children, they are my children and they are the children of the world. In India, one will find children starving for food, begging on the streets, deprived of basic necessities of life and such children amounts to almost half of the total children in the country. Now is the time when the intervention of the State is necessary for such matters.


[1] Legaldictionary.net/juvenile-delinquency/

[2] www.legalservices.com

Students of Lawsikho courses regularly produce writing assignments and work on practical exercises as a part of their coursework and develop themselves in real-life practical skills.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here