Who is Juvenile?
Before going in depth of this act let's first know the term 'juvenile'. It
refers to any person below the age of 18 who has been accused of a crime. As you
know child is one whose age is under 18 years, but when this child commits any
crime, normal or heinous, called a juvenile.
Do you Know there is an act called juvenile justice which deals with juveniles?
Do you know in our country juveniles' trials are treated differently from adult
criminals' trials? Well, you are going to know more about this act through the
Juvenile justice act (care and protection of children)2015 passed by the Lok
Sabha in may,2015 amidst protest and criticism. It passed by the Rajya sabha in
december 2015. It repealed juvenile justice (care and protection act of
Juvenile Act 2000:
According to this act every juvenile in India would not be treated as a normal
criminal whether he or she has committed a normal crime or a heinous crime. And
maximum punishmwnt was detention in reformatory homes for 3 years. This led to a
high controversy and intense protest when one of the accused, in the 2012 Delhi
gang rape, was a few months younger than 18 years of age and under the Act was
tried in a juvenile court.
And after the Nirbhaya case
of 2012 on the seer insistence of people this
act had been repealed by juvenile justice amendment act 2015 which contains 10
chapters and 112 sections.
Aim of the Act:
This act was brought to stop juveniles from becoming a harder criminal. The
primary goals of the juvenile justice system, to maintain public safety, skill
development, habilitation, rehabilitation, addressing treatment needs, and
successful reintegration of youth into the community.
Provision of Act:
This act has transformed the central adoption resource authority as a statutory
body. The bill also seeks to make the adoption process of orphaned, abandoned
children. Families adopting these children will be monitored and shall receive
financial aid from the state. Processes have been streamlined with timelines for
both in-country and inter-country adoption including declaring a child legally
free for adoption. As per the provisions, a single or divorced person can also
adopt, but a single male cannot adopt a girl child.
If a child under the age of 16-18 commits a heinous crime then the child could
be treated as adult criminals.
However, there would be no death penalty and life imprisonment.
Likely the previous act (juvenile justice ,2000), offender indulging in not very
serious crime would not be treated as adult criminals and maximum punishment
would be of 3 years.
In the 2000 act, financial help was provided by the state to juveniles till 21
years. However, it changed and now this shall be given when a child is released
from the reformatory homes and after completing the age of maturity i.e.,18.
30 days appeal time against order of board to children court.
No appeal against order of acquittal if not involved in heinous crime.
What to do when you see a child committing crime and what procedures are
there in act:
You can inform the police indirectly.
Special juvenile police unit
is created to deal with such matters. This
unit will arrest the child and present him in front of the juvenile justice
board within 24 hours. In between this period children would be kept in
observation homes, not in jail with other adult criminals.
Juvenile Justice Board:
Board shall consist of metropolitan magistrate, two social workers one shall be
woman. Function of this board is basically to protect children's rights
throughout the process of apprehending, providing legal aid etc or providing
interpreters or requiring social investigation reports.
According to the act , the board has to decide the case within a maximum of 4
months. However, in some serious cases the board can take period of 6 months to
In matters of normal crime there shall be only summary trial as mentioned in
indian penal code.
In serious crime there shall be a summon trial.
In heinous or very serious crimes the juvenile justice board will send the case
to children 's courts and then the trial would be dealt there.
If children court find juvenile as convict after hearing all concern points then
court can give any punishment except death penalty and life imprisonment.
Punishment can be:
There are different methods of punishment depending on the seriousness of crime
like fine,creative punishment as group council wherein psychotherapist or expert
conversate to the offender and try to reform his mind and thoughts ,can release
on the basis of bond or promise to not misbehave in future(in very normal
crime). In serious cases the offender is lodged in reformation homes that
rehabilitate the offenders through educational and vocational training.
Any child who has committed any crime has the right to bail till the trial
Parents have the right to know why their child has been arrested and where their
child is being imprisoned.
Child in need to care and protection:
These terms have been used in the act. What does it mean? It means that there
are some children in the country who need care and protection and the provisions
to rehabilitate such children are mentioned in the act.
We Can Understand Through The Following Points That Who Are These Children:
- Who is found without any home or settled place of abode.
- Mentally ill.
- Whose parents or guardian is found unfit to care and protect the child.
- Who is found vulnerable and is likely to be inducted into drug abuse or
trafficking and so on.
Offences Against Child And Their Punishment:
- If one disclose the identity of children- 6 months imprisonment or 1
lakh fine or both
- Cruelty to child-3 years imprisonment and 1 lakh fine.
- Employing a child for begging- 5 years imprisonment and 1 lakh fine
- Giving intoxicating liquor or drugs to child -7 years rigorous
imprisonment and 1 lakh
- Sale of children for any purpose - imprisonment of 5 years and 1 lakh.
And so on.
Authority Established By Act:
Juvenile Act 2015 clearifies the powers, function and responsibilities of
Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and Child Welfare Committee (CWC); clear timelines
for inquiry by Juvenile Justice Board (JJB); The Act mandates setting up
Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both
must have at least one woman member each.
In a Nutshell:
As per the report of the national crime records bureau the crime rate committed
by persons within the age of 18 is continuously increasing. And it is needed for
every child to be aware of these laws ,so these increasing rates can be
controlled. This act was brought to stop juveniles from becoming harder
It is also observed that the crimes done by children under the age of 15-16 have
increased significantly. The general tendency or the psychology behind the
commitment of the crime or the causes of crime are early-life experiences,
dominant masculinity, upbringing, economic havocs and so on. Since the minds of
the kids possess an innocent and manipulative character, If we can understand
the child�s subjective problem, we can stop Juvenile Crime.
Written By: Tanu Mishra
- BALLB From University Of Allahabad (2nd