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JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 56 of 2000


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 56 of 2000

Preamble



Preamble 1 - JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2000THE JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2000

[Act, No. 56 OF 2000]

[30th December, 2000]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to juveniles in conflict with 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 the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation 1 [and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.]

Whereas the Constitution has, in several provisions, including clause (3) of article 15, clauses (e) and (f) of article 39, articles 45 and 47, impose on the State a primary responsibility of ensuring that all the needs of children are met and that their basic human rights are fully protected;

And Whereas, the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the 20th November, 1989;

And Whereas, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has prescribed a set of standards to be adhered to by all State parties in securing the best interests of the child;

And Whereas, the Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises social reintegration of child victims, to the extent possible, without resorting to judicial proceedings;

And Whereas, the Government of India has ratified the Convention on the 11th December, 1992.

And Whereas, it is expedient to re-enact the existing law relating to juveniles bearing in mind the standards prescribed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 (the Beijing Rules), the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (1990), and all other relevant international instruments.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

1. Substituted for the following words "through various institutions established under this enactment" by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.


Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement and application



1. Short title, extent 1 [and commencement and application]

(1) This Act may be called the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

(3) It shall come into force on such date2 as the Central Government

may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

3 [(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the provisions of this

Act shall apply to all cases involving detention, prosecution, penalty or sentence of imprisonment of

juveniles in conflict with law under such other law.]

1. Substituted for the words "and commencement" by the by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.

2. Came into force on 1-4-2001, vide S.O. 177(E), dated 28th February, 2001, published in the Gazette of India, Extra., Pt. II, Sec. 3(ii), dated 28th February, 2001.

3. Inserted by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.


Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "advisory board" means a Central or a State advisory board or a district and city level advisory board, as the case may be, constituted under section 62;

1 [(aa) "adoption" means the process through which the adopted child is permanently separated from his biological parents and become the legitimate child of his adoptive parents with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are attached to the relationship;]

(b) "begging" means--

(i) soliciting or receiving alms in a public place or entering into any private premises for the purpose of soliciting or receiving alms, whether under any pretence;

(ii) exposing or exhibiting with the object of obtaining or extorting alms, any sore, wound, injury, deformity or disease, whether of himself or of any other person or of an animal;

(c) "Board" means a Juvenile Justice Board constituted under section 4;

(d) "child in need of care and protection" means a child--

(i) who is found without any home or settled place or abode and without any ostensible means of subsistence,

1 [(ia) who is found begging, or who is either a street child or a working child,]

(ii) who resides with a person (whether a guardian of the child or not) and such person--

(a) has threatened to kill or injure the child and there is a reasonable likelihood of the threat being carried out, or

(b) has killed, abused or neglected some other child or children and there is a reasonable likelihood of the child in question being killed, abused or neglected by that person,

(iii) who is mentally or physically challenged or ill children or children suffering from terminal diseases or incurable diseases having no one to support or look after,

(iv) who has a parent or guardian and such parent or guardian is unfit or incapacitated to exercise control over the child,

(v) who does not have parent and no one is willing to take care of or whose parents have abandoned 1 [or surrendered] him or who is missing and run away child and whose parents cannot be found after reasonable injury,

(vi) who is being or is likely to be grossly abused, tortured or exploited for the purpose of sexual abuse or illegal acts,

(vii) who is found vulnerable and is likely to be inducted into drug abuse or trafficking,

(viii) who is being or is likely to be abused for unconscionable gains, (ix) who is victim of any armed conflict, civil commotion or natural calamity;

(e) "children's home" means an institution established by a State Government or by voluntary organisation and certified by that Government under section 34;

(f) "Committee" means a Child Welfare Committee constituted under section 29;

(g) "competent authority" means in relation to children in need of care and protection a Committee and in relation to juveniles in conflict with law a Board;

(h) "fit institution" means a governmental or a registered non-governmental organisation or a voluntary organisation prepared to own the responsibility of a child and such organisation is found fit by the2 [State Government on the recommendation of the competent authority];

(i) "fit person" means a person, being a social worker or any other person, who is prepared to own the responsibility of a child and is found fit by the competent authority to receive and take care of the child;

(j) "guardian", in relation to a child, means his natural guardian or any other person having the actual charge or control over the child and recognised by the competent authority as a guardian in course of proceedings before that authority;

(k) "juvenile" or "child" means a person who has not completed eighteenth year of age;

3 [(l) "juvenile in conflict with law" means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence and has not completed eighteenth year of age as on the date of commission of such offence;]

(m) 4 [***]

(n) "narcotic drug" and "psychotropic substance" shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (61 of 1985);

(o) "observation home" means a home established by a State Government or by a voluntary organisation and certified by that State Government under section 8 as an observation home for the juvenile in conflict with law;

(p) "offence" means an offence punishable under any law for the time being in force;

(q) "place of safety" means any place or institution (not being a police lock-up or jail), the person incharge of which is willing temporarily to receive and take care of the juvenile and which, in the opinion of the competent authority, may be a place of safety for the juvenile;

(r) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(s) "probation officer" means an officer appointed by the State Government as a probation officer under the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 (20 of 1958);

(t) "public place" shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (104 of 1956);

(u) "shelter home" means a home or a drop-in-centre set up under section 37;

(v) "special home" means an institution established by a State Government or by a voluntary organisation and certified by that Government under section 9;

(w) "special juvenile police unit" means a unit of the police force of a State designated for handling of juveniles or children under section 63;

(x) "State Government", in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator of that Union territory appointed by the President under article 239 of the Constitution;

(y) all words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in that Code.

1. Inserted by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.

2. Substituted for the words "competrent authority" by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.

3. Substituted for the follolwing by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.

"(l) "juvenile in conflict with law" means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence;"

4. Omitted by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.


Section 3. Continuation of inquiry in respect of juvenile who has ceased to be a juvenile

Where an inquiry has been initiated against a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection and during the course of such inquiry the juvenile or the child ceases to be such, then, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, the inquiry may be continued and orders may be made in respect of such person as if such person had continued to be a juvenile or a child.

Chapter II

Section 4. Juvenile Justice Board

( 1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ( 2 of 1974), the State Government may,1[within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for every district,] one or more Juvenile Justice Boards for exercising the powers and discharging the duties conferred or imposed on such Boards in relation to juveniles in conflict with law under this Act.

( 2) A Board shall consist of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class, as the case may be, and two social workers of whom at least one shall be a woman, forming a Bench and every such Bench shall have the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ( 2 of 1974), on a Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Judicial Magistrate of the first class and the Magistrate on the Board shall be designated as the principal Magistrate.

( 3) No Magistrate shall be appointed as a member of the Board unless he has special knowledge or training in child psychology or child welfare and no social worker shall be appointed as a member of the Board unless he has been actively involved in health, education, or welfare activities pertaining to children for at least seven years.

( 4) The term of office of the members of the Board and the manner in which such member may resign shall be such as may be prescribed.

( 5) The appointment of any member of the Board may be terminated after holding inquiry, by the Sate Government, if--

(i) he has been found guilty of misuse of power vested under this Act,

(ii) he has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, and such conviction has not been reversed or he has not been granted full pardon in respect of such offence,

(iii) he fails to attend the proceedings of the Board for consecutive three months without any valid reason or he fails to attend less than three-fourth of the sittings in a year.

1. Substituted for the follolwing by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.

"by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute for a district or a group of districts specified in the notification"


Section 5. Procedure, etc., in relation to Board

(1) The Board shall meet at such times and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings, as may be prescribed.

(2) A child in conflict with law may be produced before an individual member of the Board, when the Board is not sitting.

(3) A Board may act notwithstanding the absence of any member of the Board, and no order made by the Board shall be invalid by reason only of the absence of any member during any stage of proceedings:

Provided that there shall be at least two members including the principal Magistrate present at the time of final disposal of the case.

(4) In the event of any difference of opinion among the members of the Board in the interim or final disposition, the opinion of the majority shall prevail, but where there is no such majority, the opinion of the principal Magistrate shall prevail.

Section 6. Powers of Juvenile Justice Board

(1) Where a Board has been constituted for any district 1 [***], such Board shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to juvenile in conflict with law.

(2) The powers conferred on the Board by or under this Act may also be exercised by the High Court and the Court of Session, when the proceeding comes before them in appeal, revision or otherwise.

1. Omitted by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.


Section 7. Procedure to be followed by a Magistrate not empowered under the Act

(1) When any Magistrate not empowered to exercise the powers of a Board under this Act is of the opinion that a person brought before him under any of the provisions of this Act (other than for the purpose of giving evidence), is a juvenile or the child, he shall without any delay record such opinion and forward the juvenile or the child and the record of the proceeding to the competent authority having jurisdiction over the proceeding.

(2) The competent authority to which the proceeding is forwarded under sub-section (1) shall hold the inquiry as if the juvenile or the child had originally been brought before it.

Section 7A. Procedure to be followed when claim of juvenility is raised before any court.

Section 8. Observation homes

(1) Any State Government may establish and maintain either by itself or under an agreement with voluntary organisations, observation homes in every district or a group of districts, as may be required for the temporary reception of any juvenile in conflict with law during the pendency of any inquiry regarding them under this Act.

(2) Where the State Government is of opinion that any institution other than a home established or maintained under sub-section (1), is fit for the temporary reception of juvenile in conflict with law during the pendency of any inquiry regarding them under this Act, it may certify such institution as an observation home for the purposes of this Act.

(3) The State Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of observation homes, including the standards and various types of services to be provided by them for rehabilitation and social integration of a juvenile, and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certification of an observation home may be granted or withdrawn.

(4) Every juvenile who is not placed under the charge of parent or guardian and is sent to an observation home shall be initially kept in a reception unit of the observation home for preliminary inquiries, care and classification for juveniles according to his age group, such as seven to twelve years, twelve to sixteen years and sixteen to eighteen years, giving due considerations to physical and mental status and degree of the offence committed, for further induction into observation home.

Section 9. Special homes

(1) Any State Government may establish and maintain either by itself or under an agreement with voluntary organisations, special homes in every district or a group of districts, as may be required for reception and rehabilitation of juvenile in conflict with law under this Act.

(2) Where the State Government is of opinion that any institution other than a home established or maintained under sub-section (1), is fit for the reception of juvenile in conflict with law to be sent there under this Act, it may certify such institution as a special home for the purposes of this Act.

(3) The State Government may, by rules made under this Act, provide for the management of special homes, including the standards and various types of services to be provided by them which are necessary for re-socialisation of a juvenile, and the circumstances under which, and the manner in which, the certification of a special home may be granted or withdrawn.

(4) The rules made under sub-section (3) may also provide for the classification and separation of juvenile in conflict with law on the basis of age and the nature of offences committed by them and his mental and physical status.

Section 10. Apprehension of juvenile in conflict with law

1(1) As soon as a juvenile in conflict with law is apprehended by police, he shall be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police unit or the designated police officer, who shall produce the juvenile before the Board without any loss of time but within a period of twenty-four hours of his apprehension excluding the time necessary for the journey, from the place where the juvenile was apprehended, to the Board: Provided that in no case, a juvenile in conflict with law shall be placed in a police lockup or lodged in a jail.".(2) The State Government may make rules consistent with this Act,--(i) to provide for persons through whom (including registered voluntary organisations) any juvenile in conflict with law may be produced before the Board;

(ii) to provide the manner in which such juvenile may be sent to an observation home.

1. Substituted for the follolwing by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, dated 22.08.06.

"( 1) As soon as a juvenile in conflict with law is apprehended by police, he shall be placed under the charge of the special juvenile police unit or the designated police officer who shall immediately report the matter to a member of the Board."


Section 11. Control of custodian over juvenile

Any person in whose charge a juvenile is placed in pursuance of this Act shall, while the order is in force have the control over the juvenile as he would have if he were his parents, and shall be responsible for his maintenance, and the juvenile shall continue in his charge for the period stated by competent authority, notwithstanding that he is claimed by his parents or any other person.