Title : JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT, 2015
Date : Dec 15, 2021
Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 14th December 2021 on Page Number 2
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Why is it in the news:
- The Lok Sabha has passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, which aims to improve and streamline child protection and adoption legislation.
- The bill changes the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and includes provisions for children in conflict with the law as well as children who require care and protection.
The Need for a Change:
- Even after the 2015 amendment, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) audit of Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in 2020, 90 percent of which are managed by NGOs, discovered that 39 percent of CCIs were not registered.
- It was also discovered that in some areas, less than 20% of CCIs, particularly for girls, had been established, and that 26% of child welfare officials had not been hired.
- Furthermore, three-fifths of dwellings lack bathrooms, one-tenth lack drinking water, and 15 percent lack separate beds or diet programmes.
- Youngsters's rehabilitation is not a priority for childcare homes, and children are allegedly maintained in such facilities to obtain revenue.
The following are the key amendments proposed by the bill:
- Serious offences: Serious offences are those for which the maximum penalty is more than seven years in jail and the minimum penalty is not specified or is less than seven years.
- Serious offences are those for which the Indian Penal Code or any other law now provides for a sentence of three to seven years in jail.
- The Juvenile Justice Board is investigating a youngster who has been charged with a serious crime.
- Non-cognizable Offenses: The current Act defines a cognizable (where arrest is permitted without a warrant) and non-bailable offence as one that is punishable by imprisonment for three to seven years.
- This is changed in the bill to make such offences non-cognizable.
- Adoption: The child currently belongs to the adoptive parents, according to the adoption order granted by the court. The District Magistrate (including the Additional District Magistrate) will issue such adoption orders instead of the court, according to the Bill.
- Appeals: Under the Bill, anyone who is aggrieved by a District Magistrate's adoption order has 30 days from the date of the order's passage to file an appeal with the Divisional Commissioner.
- Such appeals should be resolved within four weeks of the appeal being filed.
- The District Magistrate's additional responsibilities include I monitoring the District Child Protection Unit and (ii) conducting a quarterly evaluation of the Child Welfare Committee's operations.
- All offences under the previous Act would be tried in a children's court, according to the bill.
- Child Welfare Committees (CWCs): It states that a person cannot serve on a CWC if he or she has a history of violating human or child rights, has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, has been removed or dismissed from the central government, any state government, or a government undertaking, or is part of the management of a child care institution in a district.
- Members' Appointments Can Be Terminated: Any member of the committee's appointment can be terminated by the state government after an investigation if they fail to attend the CWCs' proceedings for three months in a row without giving a valid reason, or if they fail to attend less than three-fourths of the sittings in a year.
Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015:
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015 is the successor of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2000.
- Changes in Nomenclature: The Act replaces the term "juvenile" with the terms "kid" or "child in Conflict with the Law." It also eliminates the pejorative connotation of the term "juvenile."
- It also includes new and explicit definitions for orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered children, as well as small, serious, and heinous crimes committed by children.
Special Provisions for 16-18-year-olds include:
- Special provisions were included to deal with child offenders aged 16 to 18 who commit serious crimes.
The JJ Board must have the following constitution:
- Every district must establish Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees. Both groups must include at least one female member.
Clauses Concerning Adoption:
- A new chapter on Adoption has been added to simplify the adoption process for orphaned, abandoned, and surrendered children.
- The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was also given the status of a statutory organisation, allowing it to better carry out its mission.
- The adoption of a child is finalised by the court's issue of an adoption order, according to the Act. There are 629 adoption cases pending in various courts right now.
- CCIs (Child Care Institutions):
- Within six months of the Act's inception, all child care institutions, whether managed by the state government or by volunteer or non-governmental organisations, must be registered under the Act.
Tags : cara, child care