Juvenile Justice Act (Part I)
The act provides special provisions for rehabilitation of juveniles in conflict with law. The Act is enacted to provide safeguard for constitutional rights of children (i.e. person <18 years) under Article 15(3), 21, 39, 45, 47 etc. Also the act is in line with the UN Convention on Rights of child, 1989 ratified by India in 1992 & UN convention rules for Protection of Juvenile in conflict with Law deprived of their Liberty, 1990.
Juvenile in Conflict with Law
- Every State govt shall constitute a Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) for every district/group of districts (Amendment 2006) for trial of juvenile in conflict with law. The board shall consist of :-
a) A Judicial magistrate of 1st class or Metropolitan Magistrate having special knowledge/training in child welfare. ( provided that Magistrate shall be Principal Magistrate)
b) 2 social workers at least 1 woman provided that both are experienced in activities relating to child welfare, health, education etc. for at least 7 yrs.
- Any bench can trial a child with conflict in Law in absence of any member provided that at least 2 members including Principal Magistrate shall be present. In any difference of opinion (i.e. no majority decision) Principal magistrate opinion shall prevail. The JJB has exclusive jurisdiction in all cases related with Juvenile in conflict with Law under this act.
- Every state govt shall/may establish ‘Observational Home’ for temporary reception during pendency of inquiry and ‘Special Home’ for a district or group of districts for reception & rehabilitation of juvenile in conflict with Law. The state govt can make classification & separation of Juveniles on basis of age, nature of crime, his/her physical & mental status.
- When any juvenile apprehended by police, he must be place under charge of designated police officer or special juvenile police unit who shall produce him to JJB within 24 hours excluding time of journey. Provided that juvenile shall not be placed in lockup/jail but in observational home only (Amend 2006).
- Every juvenile that arrested and brought before JJB shall release on bail not withstanding anything contained in any Law or CrPC except that his release will bring him association with any criminal or in case of any danger as per rules.
- The JJB shall make an inquiry in relation to juvenile charged offence and inquiry shall be completed within 4 months except in special circumstances after giving reasons for extended time.
- The JJB can order to place Juvenile under fit person, in community activities, in special home but not exceeding 3 years. The board can place a juvenile > 16 years in a place of safety other than special home if he committed an offence that is serious in nature as decided by board.
- If any crime committed by juvenile with any adult person then no joint proceeding of juvenile with other person not juvenile i.e. juvenile shall be tried by JJB only (also not withstand anything contained in section 223 of CrPC).
- If any juvenile escaped from special/observational home then police may take charge without any warrant and shall send him back to home. Also there will be no special charge against Juvenile for such escape but home can take action by informing board under provisions of this act.
- The offences & punishment under this act are as follows:-
a) For any cruel behave with juvenile by person having charge/control over juvenile shall liable to be punished for imprisonment of 6months or fine or both.
b) For giving any toxic liquor/drugs to child by person liable to be punished for 3 years/fine/both.
c) If any juvenile/child employed by anybody for any purpose shall liable to be punished for max 3 yrs or fine or both.
d) Provided that all offences are cognizable (no need of warrant to arrest) in nature.