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Tags Current Affairs

Juvenile Justice Act

Date: 22 February 2020 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

A Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah met to discuss proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015.

 

Background

The 2015 Act addressed two key issues, apprehension, detention, prosecution, penalty or imprisonment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of children in conflict with law and procedures and decisions or orders relating to rehabilitation, adoption, re-integration and restoration of children in need of care and protection.

 

Details

  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 has come into force and repeals the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

  • The JJ Act, 2015 provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law.

Some of the key provisions include:

  • change in nomenclature from ‘juvenile’ to ‘child’ or ‘child in conflict with law’, across the Act to remove the negative connotation associated with the word “juvenile”; 

  • inclusion of several new definitions such as orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children and petty, serious and heinous offences committed by children;  

  • clarity in powers, function and responsibilities of Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and Child Welfare Committee (CWC);

  • clear timelines for inquiry by Juvenile Justice Board (JJB);

  • special provisions for heinous offences committed by children above the age of sixteen year;

  • Under Section 15, special provisions have been made to tackle child offenders committing heinous offences in the age group of 16-18 years. The Juvenile Justice Board is given the option to transfer cases of heinous offences by such children to a Children’s Court (Court of Session) after conducting preliminary assessment. 

  • To streamline adoption procedures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered children, the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.

  • Several rehabilitation and social reintegration measures have been provided for children in conflict with law and those in need of care and protection.

  • Several new offences committed against children, which are so far not adequately covered under any other law, are included in the Act. These include: sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children and, kidnapping and abduction of children.

  • All child care institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations, which are meant, either wholly or partially for housing children, regardless of whether they receive grants from the Government, are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act. Stringent penalty is provided in the law in case of non-compliance.

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