THE JUVENILE JUSTICE [CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN] ACT 2000

The Juvenile Justice [Care and Protection of Children] Act 2000 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to juveniles in conflict with the law and children in need of care and protection, by providing for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs, and by adopting a child-friendly approach in adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of and for their ultimate rehabilitation trough various institutions established under this enactment.

The law says:

‘Child in conflict with law’ means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence.


WHO IS A JUVENILE OR CHILD?


‘Juvenile’ or ‘Child’ means a person who has not completed 18 years of age.


JUVENILE JUSTICE BOARD [JJB]


1. Appointed by state government to deal with matters relating to juveniles in conflict with law.
2. Panel of metropolitan magistrate / Judicial Magistrate of First Class [trained in children’s issues for at least seven
    years] and to social workers of whom at least one shall be a woman.
3. Appointment of member of JJB to be terminated on ground of –

                      ♦ Misuse of power,

                      ♦ Conviction for an offence involving moral turpitude,

                       Failure to attend Board proceedings for 3 consecutive months / for less then three-fourths of

                         the annual sitting of the Board.


PROCEDURE


  »  Juvenile on conflict with law to be produced before JJB / a member of JJB when JJB is not in sitting.

  »  JJB may act and pass orders in the absence of any member. At least two members including the Magistrate to

      be present at the time of final disposal of the case.

  »  Opinion of majority will prevail. In the absence of majority, opinion of Magistrate will prevail. Inquiry to be

      completed within 4 months.
        


JJB MAY PASS THE FOLLOWING ORDERS


»  Counsel parents / guardian and the child,

»  Advice / admonish the child and release,

»  Advice the child to participate in group counseling and similar activities; perform community service,

»  Order payment of fine, if juvenile is above 14 years of age and earns money,

»   Release on probation of good conduct, and place him under care of parent / guardian or other fit person or fit
     institution,

»   Send to a Special Home.

JJB to remove records of conviction after expiry of period of appeal / reasonable period.


ORDERS THAT CANNOT BE PASSED BY JJB


»   CANNOT be sentenced to death / life imprisonment / committed to jail,

»   CANNOT be charged with / tried for offence with an adult,

»   CANNOT pass orders seeking security for good behaviour, etc.


REMEMBER


  • Juvenile MUST be released on bail irrespective of the offence.
  • A juvenile may released on bail with or without surety

A juvenile may not be released on bail if:

  • release brings him into association with a criminal
  • exposes him to moral, physical or psychological danger
  • defeats the ends of justice
     
  • A juvenile not released on bail must be kept in the Observation Home/place of safety pending inquiry
  • Parents / guardian of juvenile must be informed of the detention of the juvenile as soon as possible.

TRANSPARENCY IN FUNCTIONAING OF CHILD-CARE HOMES


  • INSPECTION COMMITEES to be appointed by State Governments to visit Children’s Homes. Inspection Committees should include representatives of State Government, local authority, Child Welfare Committee, voluntary organizations, medical experts and social workers.
     
  • SOCIAL AUDITS to be conducted through persons and Institutions specified by the Central or State Governments to monitor and evaluate the functioning of Children’s Homes.
     
  • CENTRAL AND STATE ADVISORY BOARDS to be constituted by respective governments on matters relating to the establishment of Homes, providing facilities for education, training and rehabilitation of children / juveniles. Eminent socials workers, representatives of voluntary organizations, professionals etc to be included on the Advisory Board.

ROLE OF SOCIAL WORKERS AND NGO’S


  • JJB to include 2 social workers at least one of whom is a woman
  • Social workers / representatives of voluntary organizations to be appointed on CWC (Child Welfare Committee), at least one of whom should be a woman.
  • Voluntary organizations to establish and maintain child-care homes after obtaining recognition from State Governments.
  • Social worker/ voluntary organization may be appointed as place of safety / fit person / fit institution.
  • A child may be produced before CWC by CHILDLINE / voluntary organization / social worker / institution.
  • Representatives of voluntary organizations / social workers to be appointed on Inspection Committees and to conduct social audits of Children’s Homes
  • Social workers / representatives of voluntary organizations to be appointed on State and Central Advisory Boards.

CHILD CARE HOMES


  • OBSERVATION HOMES, SPECIAL HOMES AND CHILDREN’S HOMES to be established by state governments / voluntary organizations for temporary reception of the children in need of care and protection during pending inquiry, and subsequently for their care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation.
  • Homes exclusively for girls are established at Ernakulam and Kozhikode, in Kerala.
CALICUT ERNAKULAM
Govt. short stay home for women One day home for women
Vellimadukunnu Press road
Merikunnu p.o Kakkanad
Kozhikodu Ernakulam
Ph. 0495-2730459
  • SHELTER HOME to be established by recognized, reputed and capable voluntary organizations to function as drop-in centers for children in need of urgent support
  • PLACE OF SUPPORT to be established by State Government / Voluntary Organization and approved by competent authority for the juvenile in conflict with law for serious offences; who has attained the age of 16 years
  • AFTER-CARE ORGANISATION to be established by the State governments / voluntary organizations to care for children / juveniles after they have left the Children’s Homes / Special Home to enable them to lead an honest life.

NON INSTITUTIONAL CARE


  • ADOPTION shall be resorted to for rehabilitation of such children who are orphaned, abandoned, neglected and abused. JJB is empowered to give children in adoption and carry out requisite investigations for the purpose of adoption. Children’s Homes are recognized as Adoption Agencies for scrutiny and placement of children.
  • FOSTER CARE may be used for temporary placement of infants who are ultimately to be given in adoption.
  • SPONSORSHIP PRGRAMMES to provide support to families, Children’s Homes and Special Homes to meet medical, nutritional, and educational and other needs of children.

PUNISHMENT FOR OFFENCES COMMITTED AGAINST CHILD / JUVENILE


  • Offences committed against a child are cognizable offences. An offence committed against a child is punishable under this Act, and any other Act which provides for greater punishment
     

OFFENCE PUNISHMENT


  • Whoever having actual charges of or control over a over a child, assaults, abandons, exposes or willfully neglects child so as to cause the child mental or physical suffering Imprisonment for a term upto six months / fine / both
  • Employing a child for the purpose of begging
  • Imprisonment for a term upto 3 years & fine
  • Abetting the commission of this offence
  • Imprisonment for a term upto 1 year & fine

CHILD IN NEED OF CARE AND PROTECTIONMEANS A CHILD :


  • Who is found without any home and means of subsistence.
  • Who resides with a person who has threatened to to kill or injure the child / has killed, abused or neglected some other child.
  • Who is mentally or physically ill or suffering from incurable disease and has no one for support
  • Whose parent / guardian is unfit to control the child
  • Who does not have a guardian and no one is willing to care for him
  • Whose parents have abandoned the child / runaway child whose parents cannot be traced
  • Who is or is likely to be abused / tortured / exploited for sexual abuse or illegal acts
  • Who is vulnerable for induction into drug abuse or trafficking
  • Who is a victim of armed conflict / civil commotion / natural calamity

CHILD WELFARE COMMITTEE [CWC]


1. Appointed by State Government to deal with matters relating to children and need of care and protection
2. Five members including a chairperson, one of whom should be a woman and another an expert on children
3. Appointment of members of CWC to be terminated on grounds of-

  • Misuse of power,
  • Conviction for offence involving moral turpitude
  • Failure to attend Committee proceedings for 3 consecutive months / for less than three-fourths of the annual sitting of the Committee

PROCEDURE:


  • Any child in need of care and protection may be produced before the Committee by special juvenile police, a Childline organization, social worker, public-spirited citizen or by the child himself
  • On receipt of a report the committee or any police or special juvenile police unit shall hold an inquiry in the prescribed manner and the committee, on its own or on the report from any person or agency may pass an order to send the child to the children home for speedy inquiry by social worker or child welfare worker
  • Restoration of the child shall be the prime objective of any children’s home or shelter home and shall take such steps for the child deprived of his family environment temporarily or permanently (restoration of child means restoration to parents, adoptive parents, foster parents)
  • If during the inquiry it is found that the child hails from a place outside the jurisdiction of the committee, it shall order the transfer of the child to the competent authority having jurisdiction over the place of residence of the child

ROLE OF THE POLICE


  • Special Juvenile Police Unit(SJPU) to be established to effectively handle children / juveniles
  • Every police station to have a Juvenile or Child Welfare Officer who is trained and oriented to handle a child / juvenile
  • SJPU / police officer to inform parent / guardian as soon as possible that juvenile has been arrested for commission of an offence

Newspapers, magazines, news sheets, visual media is prohibited from disclosing the name, address, and any other particulars identifying the juvenile / a photograph of the juvenile pending inquiry, except if competent authority feels disclosure is in the interest of the juvenile. Nothing under this Act prevents the media from reporting on the conditions prevailing in a child care institution, on the contrary such reporting is essential in the interest of children incarcerated in institutions and having no contact with the outside world.

Juvenile Justice Board As per section 4 of  Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Act,  2000 . Juvenile Justice Boards are constituted in all districts and it is headed by the Principal Magistrate (Chief Judicial Magistrate) and two social workers as members.

child welfare committeeConstituted under section 29 of  Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Act,  2000 for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred in relation to child in need of care and protection under the said Act. Committee is headed by a Chairman and four members, who are social workers are appointed by the Government for a period of 3 years.

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Directorate of Social Welfare.
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