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Current Affairs

Juvenile justice bill

Date: 02 August 2021 Tags: Bills & Laws


The Rajya Sabha has passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021.



The bill is set to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The bill was already passed in the Lok Sabha after receiving support from both ruling and opposition.



  • The law contains a main provision that will allow trial of juveniles between the ages of 16-18 years as adults. They will get the same punishment as adults.

  • A Juvenile Justice Board will decide if the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child based on the nature of the crime.

  • The provision was added after the 2012 Delhi gang rape case in which one of the accused managed to dodge the law as he was a minor during the occurrence of the incident.


Major provisions

  • Another provision in the law will be regarding adoption laws. It will bring a universally acceptable law instead of personal laws such as Guardians of the Ward Act (1890) for Muslims and Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) for Hindus.

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) will be given a statutory status and adoption procedures for abandoned, orphaned and surrendered children will be streamlined.


Need for the law

  • The law will give more powers and responsibilities for District Magistrates so that speedy trials take place and children are given increased protection.

  • The existing law made adoption process under the courts, creating a large backlog of cases stuck in the system. This had made adoption difficult.


Juvenile offence changes

  • Juveniles between 16-18 years accused for heinous crimes will now be tried as adults. They will pass through the adult justice system.

  • The heinous and minor offences have been clearly spelled out so that children will not get affected by wrong charges and ambiguity is removed.



  • Many detractors say that the law puts too much onus on the District magistrate. They fear that JJ act may not receive priority from the DM.

  • Special training will have to be provided to the DMs as currently they are not equipped to deal with these specific laws.