JUVENILE JUSTICE AMENDMENT BILL,2021

Recently, Parliament passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021. This bill is going to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

BACKGROUND

The Delhi Gangrape case in 2012 put a huge impact on the functioning of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

One of them was less than 18 years, and as per the act, he went for a trial in Juvenile Court.

And he was handed to reforms home for 3 years by Juvenile Court.

Then the victim’s mother criticized the same and said by not punishing the juvenile, the court was encouraging other teenagers to do the same crime.

Thus, after this, a new and improved Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 was passed by the Parliament.

JUVENILE JUSTICE(CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN), ACT 2015

This bill was introduced in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and  Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. 

This act presents provisions to allow trials for Juveniles as an adult of age group 16-18 years who were found guilty in the heinous crimes, or if there comes any conflict with the law.

It also presents provisions for adoptions and thus replaced the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) and Guardians of the ward Act (1890)

The act enabled the trouble-free functioning of adoption procedures for orphans, surrendered, and abandoned children while making the Central Adoption Resource Authority(CARA) – a statutory body for adoption-related purposes. 

Under the Act, Juvenile Justice Boards(JJB) and Child Welfare Committees(CWC) were formed in each district.

All CWCs, either government or private, should be registered under the Act within 6 months of regulation of the Act.

AMENDMENTS IN THE BILL

This amendment increases the role of the district magistrate and additional district magistrates in matters related to child care and their adoption.

  • Adoption
  1. Act – Adoption will be done once the Civil Court issues an order for the adoption.
  2. Bill – The amendment also gives the authority to the District Magistrate of the district to issue an order for the adoption.
  • Appeals
  1. Act – There would be no case for appeal on the order made by the Child Welfare Committee. This bill removes this rule.
  2. Bill- If any person feels to be treated unfairly by an adoption order passed by the DM of the district, then he can file an appeal before the Divisional Commissioner.
  • Child Welfare Committees
  1. The bills debarred the person from being a member of the Committee if he has violated the human rights or child rights in his history.
  2. If the member fails to attend meetings of the Committee consecutively for three months without any valid reason or if he fails to attend less than  ¾ meetings in a year, he will be excluded from the Committee.
  • Serious Offences
  1. Act – If a child is accused of a serious offence( in which punishment is imprisonment for 3-7 years), then the Juvenile Justice Board will inquire about that child.
  2. Bill – The serious offences will also include imprisonment of more than 7 years.
  • Designated Courts
  1. Act – All accused will be trialled in Children Courts if imprisonment against crime is for more than 7 years, otherwise will be trialled by Judicial Magistrate.
  2. Bill – All offences will be trialled in Children Courts despite any years of imprisonment being punished.
  • Offence against Children
  1. Act – Juveniles who are punished with imprisonment between (3-7 years) will be cognizable(arrested without a warrant) and non-bailable.
  2. Bill – Such offences will be non-cognizable and non-bailable. 
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