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A much needed amendement of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 (8 February 2020)

A much needed amendement of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 (8 February 2020)

Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the ministry of women and child development to amend the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 to introduce measures for strengthening child protection setup to ensure best interest of children.

               

Who is a juvenile?

  • According to laws in India, any child below the age of 7 cannot be convicted under any law for any crime.

                                 The juvenile justice (care and protection of children) act, 2015

Features of Juvenile Justice Act:

  • There are 2 main verticals of the act.
  1. For the children in need of care and protection and 
  2. For the children’s in conflict with law.
  • New Offence: The Act included several new offences committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.
  • Mandatorily registration: All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.
  • Juvenile Justice Boards: It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.
  • Statutory status to CARA: Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  • There is a clear distinction between children in conflict with the law and children in need of protection and care.

Need of the amendment:

Alarming statistics of Juvenile Delinquency.

  • As per data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, the incidents of juvenile crime have constantly increased between 2010-2014.
  • Shortcoming in the implementation of the programme in most of the districts due to ineffective disconnected contractual district child care protection officer’s, which leads to this much needed amendment.

Drawbacks of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015:

  • Large pendency in adoption cases: Under section 61 of the JJ act adoption order is supposed to be passed by the courts.
    •  Though they were supposed take the decision in 2 months, as per the act. They are taking far too long.
    • In last 4 year almost 800 to 1000 cases are pending in various courts across the country.
  • Uniform laws are not suitable for all the states and uts in India as each of them has own circumstances in order to speedy implementation of laws.